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Updates this classic work for students and scholars of medieval history, tracing the development of literacy in England This book serves as an introduction to medieval books and documents for graduate students throughout the world Features a completely re-written first chapter, 'Memories and Myths of the Norman Conquest, and a new postscript by the author reflecting on the reception to the original publication and discussing recent scholarship on medieval literacy Includes a revised guide to further reading and a revision of the plates which illustrate medieval manuscripts in detail
Michael Clanchy is Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. In the 1990s he held interdisciplinary seminars on the significance of literacy at University College London, the Warburg Institute, and the Institute of Historical Research. Before moving to London in 1985, he taught at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of the popular textbook England and its Rulers 1066–1307 (third edition, 2006), and Abelard: A Medieval Life (1997).
Table of Contents
List of Plates viii
Preface to the First Edition ix
Preface to the Second Edition xi
Preface to the Third Edition xii
Introduction 1 Being Prejudiced in Favour of Literacy 7 Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Literacy 11 England's Place in Medieval Literacy 16
Part I TheMaking of Records 21
1 Memories and Myths of the Norman Conquest 23 The Formation of a Norman Official Memory 26 The Anglo-Saxon Heritage of Literacy 30 Latin and the Language of Domesday Book 35 William the Conqueror’s Symbolic Knife 38 The EarlWarenne’s Rusty Sword 41
2 The Proliferation of Documents 46 Documents at Village Level 48 The Chronology of Charter Making 54 The Output of Royal Documents 58 Documents and Bureaucracy 64 TheWork of HubertWalter 70 Royal Influence on Other Records 75 Appendix 80
3 Types of Record 83 The Variety ofWritings 83 Statements Issued by Individuals 87 Memoranda Kept by Institutions 94 Learned and LiteraryWorks 106 Liturgical Books 111
4 The Technology ofWriting 116 The Scribe and His Materials 117 Wax, Parchment, andWood 120 CommittingWords toWriting 127 Layout and Format 134 Rolls or Books? 137
5 The Preservation and Use of Documents 147 Monastic Documents for Posterity 148 Secular Documents for Daily Use 151 Archives and Libraries 156 The Royal Archives 164 Ways of Remembering 174 Ways of Indexing 179
Part II The LiterateMentality 187 What Reading Meant 192
6 Languages of Record 199 Walter of Bibbesworth’s Treatise 199 The Variety of Languages 202 Spoken andWritten Language 208 Chronological Development 213 TheWriting Down of French 217 Royal Documents in Latin, French, and English 222
7 Literate and Illiterate 226 Meanings of 'Clericus' and 'Litteratus' 228 The Question of the Literacy of the Laity 233 Knowledge of Latin Among Non-Churchmen 236 The Acquisition of Clerical Education 242 Educated Knights 248
8 Hearing and Seeing 255 Symbolic Objects and Documents 256 The Spoken Versus theWrittenWord 262 Listening to theWord 268 The SpokenWord in Legal Procedure 274 Writings asWorks of Art 280 Word and Image 285
9 TrustingWriting 295 Memory andWriting 296 Dating Documents 300 Signing Documents 305 The Symbolism of Seals and Crosses 309 Forging Documents 318