Scribes and Scholars at Salisbury Cathedral, C. 1075-C. 1125

Scribes and Scholars at Salisbury Cathedral, C. 1075-C. 1125

Scribes and Scholars at Salisbury Cathedral, C. 1075-C. 1125

Scribes and Scholars at Salisbury Cathedral, C. 1075-C. 1125

Synopsis

This is a study of the books of Salisbury Cathedral and their scribes in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. These manuscripts form the largest collection to have survived from any English centre in the period following the Norman Conquest, and they bear witness to the energetic scribal and scholarly activities of a community of intelligent and able men. Teresa Webber traces the interests and activities of the canons of Salisbury Cathedral from the evidence of their books. She reveals to us a lively Anglo-Norman centre of scholarship and religious devotion. Her study combines detailed palaeographic research with a keen understanding of medieval cultural and intellectual life. It is a distinguished contribution to medieval studies.

Excerpt

This book represents a revised version of my D.Phil. thesis. I should like to express my gratitude to the individuals and institutions who have assisted me during my years of graduate research, and subsequently in the preparation of this volume. First, my study of the Salisbury manuscripts would have been impossible without either the permission of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral, who allowed me to make such a prolonged study of their books, or the assistance of Suzanne Eward, the cathedral librarian, whose help and interest made my frequent visits to the library a pleasure, even when the temperature dipped below 50°. I am also grateful to the librarians and staff of the following libraries for allowing me to consult their manuscripts, or for providing me with microfilms and photographs: Aberdeen University Library; the British Library; the Bodleian Library; the Musée des Archives Nationales, Paris; and the libraries of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; Durham Cathedral; Exeter Cathedral; Keble College, Oxford; Trinity College, Cambridge; and Trinity College, Dublin.

My research was also made possible by financial assistance from the British Academy; the Richard Newitt Fund; the President and Fellows of Wolfson College, Oxford; the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford; and the Faculty of Arts Research Sub-Committee, University of Southampton.

I am particularly indebted to those who instructed me in the techniques of palaeographical and historical research: to Professor Andrew Watson, Professor Karl Leyser†, Pierre Chaplais, and most of all, Malcolm Parkes, who supervised my thesis, providing a seemingly inexhaustible supply of ideas, information, enthusiasm and constructive criticism. In addition, I am most grateful to my two D.Phil. examiners for their unfailing generosity with advice in the process of preparing my thesis for publication: to Henry Mayr-Harting who has acted as sub- editor of this book, and to Diana Greenway, who made the results of her research on the chapter at Old Sarum available to me in advance of publication. Thanks are also due to the many other scholars who have assisted me, in reading and commenting upon all or parts of my thesis or drafts of the book, or providing me with references, among them Professor Christopher Brooke, Professor J. E. Cross, George Bernard, Ernest Blake, Vincent Gillespie, Brian Golding, Michael Gullick, John McGavin, Bella Millett, Alan Piper, Daphne Stroud, and Rodney Thomson.

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