Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anglo-Saxon Charters 13: Charters of Bath and Wells

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anglo-Saxon Charters 13: Charters of Bath and Wells

Article excerpt

Anglo-Saxon Charters iy: Charters of Bath and Wells, ed. Susan Kelly (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). 279 + xxiii pp. ISBN 978-0-19-726397-6. £50.00. This volume represents somewhat of a departure for this series in that the pre-Conquest charters of two separate (although now joined) houses are dealt with in one volume. Neverdieless, Dr Kelly brings her customary forensic attention to detail to bear on both archives. The volume is divided into two sections: the larger section deals with the charters of Bath minster, the smaller with those of the bishopric of Wells established during die great reorganization of the West Saxon bishoprics in the first decade of die tenth century. As has become the norm with this series, the editions of the charter texts are preceded by detailed introductions exploring the history of the house, the texture of its surviving pre-Conquest archive, the manuscript traditions of that archive, and a reconstruction of the pattern of endowment of the house(s) concerned. Inevitably, given the greater quantity of surviving material, Dr Kelly's attention focuses on Bath, where an early date of foundation - perhaps late seventh century - seems likely. Dr Kelly also speculates in the introduction on the possibility that Bath was founded as a Benedictine house, rather than one based on a rule drawn up by the founder; this is followed by a discussion of the history of the house in the period of Mercian domination during the later eighth century. …

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