Monday, February 27, 2012

THIS WEEK! Friday, 3/2: Anglo-Norman Historiography with Paul Antony Hayward

The Golden Age of Anglo-Norman Historiography—or What Connects the Works of William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon and Geoffrey of Monmouth?
Paul Antony Hayward, Lancaster University

Friday, March 2, 2012

CUNY Graduate Center • 365 Fifth Avenue
English Department Lounge • Room 4409

Wine and cheese reception following the talk

Between 1125 and 1139, in quick succession, within a space of less than fifteen years, and after a period of almost four centuries in which nothing of equivalent substance had appeared—a period stretching back to the time of Bede—four quasi-classical histories of Britain and its peoples were published in England: that is, William of Malmesbury’s Gesta regum and Gesta pontificum Anglorum, Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum, and Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Gesta Britonum. Historians have long been aware of this remarkable outburst of history-writing and that these historians were alert to each other’s work, but we have still to arrive at a common explanation for the genesis of their histories that can account for all of their salient features and themes, especially their religious and philosophical positions. This paper will venture a new solution to this problem, one that focuses on a neglected element of the context in which the three historians were working—an element that can explain what all three men were trying to do.


Please join us!