Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Charters of Malmesbury Abbey

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Charters of Malmesbury Abbey

Article excerpt

Charters of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon Charters XI (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 2005). xxii + 328 pp. ISBN 0-19-726317-8. £50.00. This edition by Susan Kelly of the Anglo-Saxon charters of Malmesbury Abbey is the eleventh in the series sponsored by the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society. Kelly's contribution to the series is great, and her expertise in early English history, diplomatic, and languages has now made available to scholars a group of texts providing key historical evidence for one of the most important centres of AngloSaxon literature and scholarship. For the student of Anglo-Saxon history the charters are particularly interesting as the history of the abbey in the period covered here is also well documented in early narrative history. Founded by Aldhelm, one of AngloSaxon England's greatest scholars, and later home of William of Malmesbury, one of England's most important medieval historians, the West Saxon abbey's history as illustrated by its charters provides a mirror to the course of English monastic life across the Middle Ages. That many of its precious medieval documents appear to have been used to clean guns and line ale barrels after the Henrician dissolution (p. …

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