• Simon Meecham-Jones
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


When the adherents of the humiliated King Henry II set up a memorial to their leader in Fontevrault Abbey, they chose for his epitaph to adapt lines written barely a decade before,1 from Walter of Châtillon’s account of the burial of the most illustrious of warriors, Alexander the Great (see p. 21, below). If the choice flattered the extent of Henry’s martial achievements, it reflected accurately both the ambition of the man they buried, and the implicit recognition by the Plantagenet elite of the paramount importance of the written text as a potent weapon in the establishment of political and moral authority.


Political Community Twelfth Century Literary Form English History Colonial Expansion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Heinrich Christensen, Das Alexanderlied Walters von Chatillon (Halle: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, 1905).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Lee Patterson, Chaucer and the Subject of History (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), p. 49.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Brian Stock, The Implications of Literacy: Written Language and Models of Interpretation in the 11th and 12th Centuries (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 16.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Charles H. Haskins, “Henry II as a Patron of literature,” in Essays in Medieval History presented to Thomas Frederick Tout, ed. A. G. Little and F. M. Powicke (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1925), pp. 71–77.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Peter Dronke, “Peter of Blois and Poetry at the court of Henry II,” Mediaeval Studies 28 (1976): 185–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. reprinted in Peter Dronke, The Medieval Poet and his World, Storia e letteratura 164 (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1984), 281–339.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Karen M. Broadhurst, “Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Patrons of Literature in French?,” Viator 26 (1996): 53–84, 74.Google Scholar
  8. M. R. James, rev. C. N. L. Brooke, and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 476–77.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Neil Cartlidge, The Owl and the Nightingale: text and translation (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    C. J. N. Bailey and K. Maroldt, “The French Lineage of English,” in Langues en Contact-Pidgins-Cré oles, ed. Jürgen M. Meisel, Tübinger Beiträge zur Linguistik 75 (1977): 21–53. The theory is revisited by Juliette D’ Or: “Langues franç aise et anglaise, et multilinguisme à l’ é poque d’ Henri Plantagenât,” Cahiers de Civilisation Mé dié vale 37 (1994): 61–72. An alternative view is put forward by Thomason and Kaufman: see S. G. Thomason and T. Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolisation and Genetic Linguistics (Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    Patricia Poussa, “The Evolution of Early Standard English: The Creolisation Hypothesis,” Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 14 (1982): 69–85.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    Marie de France, Die Lais, ed. Karl Warnke, Bibliotheca Normannica 3 (Halle: Niemeyer, 1925; repr. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1974), 1. Translation Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby, The Lais of Marie de France (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986), p. 41.Google Scholar
  13. 20.
    Bertran de Born, The Poems of the Troubadour Bertran de Born, ed. William D. Paden, Tilde A. Sankovitch, and Patricia Harris Stablein (Berkeley, Calif, and London: University of California Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  14. 21.
    The Peterborough Chronicle: (The Bodleian Manuscript Laud Misc. 636),ed. Dorothy Whitelock (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1954) orthography normalized; facsimile edition; Dorothy Whitelock (with David C. Douglas and Susie I. Tucker); The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Revised Translation (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1986), 199–200.Google Scholar
  15. 22.
    J. F. A. Mason, “Roger de Montgomery and his Sons,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th Series, 13 (1963): 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 23.
    Linda Colley, Britons: forging the nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven, Conn., London: Yale University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983), p. 14.Google Scholar
  18. 25.
    James P. Carley, “Arthur in English History,” interchapter A in The Arthur of the English: The Arthurian Legend and Medieval English Life and Literature, ed. W. R. J. Barron (Lampeter: University of Wales Press, 1997), p. 44.Google Scholar
  19. 26.
    J. C. Cassard, “Arthur est vivant! Jalons pour une enquete sur le messianisme royal au moyen age,” Cahiers de Civilisation medievale 32 (1989): 135–46, 143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 27.
    John Davies, The History of Wales (London: Allen Lane Penguin, 1993), p. 153.Google Scholar
  21. 28.
    Oliver Padel, Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), p. 43.Google Scholar
  22. 30.
    For example, in William Rothwell, “Language and Government in Medieval England,” Zeitschrift-fur-Franzosische-Sprache-und-Literatur 93 (1983): 258–70.Google Scholar
  23. 36.
    Marvin L. Colker, Galteri de Castellione Alexandreis (Padua: In aedibus Antenoreis, 1978), p. 273. Translation from Thomas Jolly, “The Alexandreid of Walter of Châtillon: a translation and commentary” (Ph.D. diss., Tulane University of Louisiana, 1968, pp. 257–8).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Meecham-Jones

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations