Publication – Pauline Stafford, « After Alfred. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Chroniclers, 900-1150 »

The vernacular Anglo-Saxon Chronicles cover the centuries which saw the making of England and its conquest by Scandinavians and Normans. After Alfred traces their development from their genesis at the court of King Alfred to the last surviving chronicle produced at the Fenland monastery of Peterborough. These texts have long been part of the English national story. Pauline Stafford considers the impact of this on their study and editing since the sixteenth century, addressing all surviving manuscript chronicles, identifying key lost ones, and reconsidering these annalistic texts in the light of wider European scholarship on medieval historiography.

The study stresses the plural ‘chronicles’, whilst also identifying a tradition of writing vernacular history which links them. It argues that that tradition was an expression of the ideology of a southern elite engaged in the conquest and assimilation of old kingdoms north of the Thames, Trent, and Humber. Vernacular chronicling is seen, not as propaganda, but as engaged history-writing closely connected to the court, whose networks and personnel were central to the production and continuation of these chronicles. In particular, After Alfred connects many chronicles to bishops and especially to the Archbishops of York and Canterbury.

The disappearance of the English-speaking elite after the Norman Conquest had profound impacts on these texts. It repositioned their authors in relation to the court and royal power, and ultimately resulted in the end of this tradition of vernacular chronicling.

Pauline Stafford studied at the University of Oxford. She taught medieval history at the University of Huddersfield, before becoming Professor of Medieval History at the University of Liverpool, where she remained until her retirement. She was also a visiting professor at the Institute of Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, and is Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society. She is married with three children, and three grandchildren.

Table des matières :

2:The Study and Editing of the Vernacular Chronicles
3:Alfred’s Chronicle and the First Continuations
4:Chronicle A and the Early Tenth Century
5:BC, B, and the Mid Tenth Century
6:The ‘Northern Recension’
7:The Lost Worcester Chronicle
8:Vernacular Chronicles c 1000
9:The Annals of Æthelred and the early years of Cnut
10:The Making of Chronicle C and Mid Eleventh-Century Chronicling
11:The Continuations of Chronicle C and the Development of Chronicles in the Mid Eleventh Century
12:Chronicle D, Crossing Conquest
13:Chronicle F and Canterbury post 1066
14:Chronicle E, /E and H: the End of the Tradition?
Appendix – The Cult of St Olaf and the Dating of Chronicle C Annal 1030

Informations pratiques :

Pauline Stafford, After Alfred. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Chroniclers, 900-1150, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020. 400 Pages | 10 black and white figures/illustrations. 234x156mm. ISBN: 9780198859642. Prix : 75 £.

Source : Oxford University Press

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