By John Gillingham
Six of the best twelfth-century historians - William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Geoffrey Gaimar, Roger of Howden, and Gerald of Wales -are analysed during this number of essays, concentrating on their attitudesto 3 inter-related points of English heritage. the 1st topic is the increase of the recent and condescending notion which looked the Irish, Scots and Welsh as barbarians; set opposed to the historical past of socio-economic and cultural switch in England, it's argued that this imperialist notion created a basic divide within the background of the British Isles, one to which Geoffrey of Monmouth spoke back instantly and brilliantly. the second one topic treats chivalry now not as a trifling gloss upon the brutal realities of existence, yet as an enormous improvement in political morality; and it reconsiders a few of the previous questions linked to chivalric values and knightly duties -home-grown items or imports from France? The 3rd themeis the emergence of a brand new feel of Englishness after the traumas of the Norman Conquest, the English invasion of eire and the making of English background.
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Extra info for The English in the Twelfth Century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political Values
In William's eyes the more 'Frenchified' England and the English became, the better. In this cultural context for a man to use the French language need not be a denial of his English identity, of a sense of continuity with the Anglo-Saxon past - any more than the use of English by the Irish, Scots and Welsh of today necessarily separates them from a keen awareness of their own national pasts. It might be objected that a highly cultivated monk writing in Latin is no guide to the feelings of people outside monasteries, but it should be remembered that William was no recluse but a widely travelled man who had good connexions with the royal court.
Wormald, 'Engla Lond: the Making of an Allegiance', Journal of Historical Sociology 7 (1994). 10 Adrian Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood. Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (Cambridge, 1997), chapter two, and a forthright discussion of the word 'nation', pp. 1419. 11 Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (London, 1983), 1278. 12 The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, ed. and trans. R. H. C. Davis and M. Chibnall Oxford, 1998), 1467, cf. 1823. 13 Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, 1.
889. 34 See below, p. 9. Page xxvi be visible here. Some of the most blatant overlaps have been cut but on balance it seemed better to let many of the repetitions stand, on the assumption that readers (apart perhaps from reviewers) were much more likely to read single essays rather than plough their way through the whole book. Page 1 PART ONE. 2 From what date can an English national culture of this type be said to exist? In what social, economic and political context did the set of cultural images which 'provided the moral energy for English imperialism' first emerge?
The English in the Twelfth Century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political Values by John Gillingham