Advertisement

History, Genealogy, and Gerald of Wales: Medieval Theories of Ethnicity and Their Afterlives

  • Matthew X. Vernon
Chapter
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

This chapter proceeds with a consideration of a set of medieval texts that raise questions about how the Middle Ages were being constructed and mythologized within the period itself. This chapter provides a vital counterpart to the argument constructed over Chaps.  2 and  3 that are premised upon finding latent ambiguities and ambivalences within medieval narratives. In this chapter Vernon discusses how post-colonial readings can critically intervene into interpretations of Gerald of Wales’ The History and Topography of Ireland and The Conquest of Ireland. This reading foregrounds the flexibility inherent within Geoffrey’s text. The History of the Kings of Britain was not just popular in its own time, the descriptions of Arthur and his linkage between the progress of history and genealogy would form the basis of many later iterations of the Arthurian legend. The most significant of these would be those produced by Sir Walter Scott, who was a vital conduit for American medievalisms throughout the nineteenth century.

Works Cited

Primary Sources

  1. Burke, Edmund. Pre-Revolutionary Writing. Edited by Ian Harris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. ———. The Writing and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Edited by T.O. McLoughlin and James T. Boulton. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. ———. “Sketch of a Negro Code.” In The Portable Edmund Burke, ed. Isaac Kramnick. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.Google Scholar
  4. Douglass, Frederick. “Speech at the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York City (1853).” In The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Park Publishing: Hartford, 1881, 303.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, Michel.“Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France 1975–1976. Edited by Mauro Bertani and Alessandreo Fontana. New York: Picador, 2003.Google Scholar
  6. Geoffrey of Monmouth. The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth I: Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS. 568. Edited by Neil Wright. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1984.Google Scholar
  7. ———. The History of the Kings of Britain. Translated by Michael A. Faletra. Toronto: Broadview, 2008.Google Scholar
  8. Gerald of Wales. The Historical Works of Giraldus Cambriensis: The Conquest of Ireland, 2nd edition. Edited by Thomas Wright. London, H.G. Bohn, 1863, 1968.Google Scholar
  9. ———. Expugnatio Hibernica: The Conquest of Ireland. Edited and translated by A.B. Scott and F.X. Martin. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1978a.Google Scholar
  10. ———. The Journey through Wales and The Description of Wales. Translated by Lewis Thorpe. New York: Penguin, 1978b.Google Scholar
  11. ———. The History and Topography of Ireland, 2nd edition. Translated by John O’Meara. New York: Penguin, 1982.Google Scholar
  12. ———. The Autobiography of Giraldus Cambrensis, 2nd edition. Edited and translated by H.E. Butler. London: Jonathan Cape, 2005.Google Scholar
  13. Giraldus Cambrensis [Gerald of Wales]. De Rebus A Se Gestis in Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, vols. 1–8, eds. J.S. Brewer and J.S. Dimock. London: Longman, 1861–1891; Reprint, London: Rolls Series, 1964.Google Scholar
  14. William of Newburgh. The History of English Affairs: Book 1. Edited and translated by P.G. Walsh and M.J. Kennedy. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015.Google Scholar
  15. Williams Ab Ithel, John, ed. The Chronicles of the Princes of Wales. London: Kraus, 1860.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Bartlett, Robert. Gerald of Wales, 1146–1223. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  2. ———. The Making of Europe: Conquest Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950–1350. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  3. ———. “Illustrating Ethnicity in the Middle Ages.” In The Origins of Racism in the West, eds. Miriam Eliav-Feldon, Benjamin Isaac, and Joseph Ziegler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, 132–156Google Scholar
  4. Bernstein, Iver. “Workers and Consolidation.” In The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990, 74–124.Google Scholar
  5. Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. Bourke, Richard. “Edmund Burke and the Politics of Conquest.” Modern Intellectual History 4.3 (November 2007), 403–432Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Hybrids, Monsters, Borderlands: The Bodies of Gerald of Wales.” In The Postcolonial Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen. New York: Palgrave, 2000, 85–104.Google Scholar
  8. Donlan, Seán. “The ‘Genuine Voice of Its Records and Monuments’?: Edmund Burke’s ‘Interior History of Ireland.’” In Edmund Burke’s Irish Identities, ed. Patrick Donlan. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  9. Echard, Siân. Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  10. Faletra, Michael A. Wales and the Medieval Colonial Imagination: The Matters of Britain in the Twelfth Century. New York: Palgrave, 2014.Google Scholar
  11. Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth, 2nd edition. New York: Grove Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  12. Flint, Valerie I.J. “The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Its Purpose. A Suggestion.” Speculum 54.3 (July 1979), 447–468.Google Scholar
  13. Foucault, Michel. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” In The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984, 76–101.Google Scholar
  14. Gilroy, Paul. Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race, 2nd edition. New York: Routledge, 2004.Google Scholar
  15. Greenblatt, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  16. Guterl, Matthew Pratt. The Color of Race in America: 1900–1940. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  17. Hadfield, Andrew. Edmund Spenser’s Irish Experience: Wild Fruit and Salvage Soyl. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  18. Heng, Geraldine. Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  19. Ignatiev, Noel. How the Irish Became White. New York: Routledge, 1995.Google Scholar
  20. Ingham, Patricia Clare, and Michelle R. Warren. “Postcolonial Modernity and the Rest of History.” In Postcolonial Moves: Medieval through Modern, eds. Patricia Clare Ingham and Michelle R. Warren. New York: Palgrave, 2003, 1–18.Google Scholar
  21. Kelley, Robin D.G. “Foreword.” In Cedric Robinson. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, 2nd edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, xii–xxiii.Google Scholar
  22. Kempshall, Matthew. Rhetoric and the Writing of History: 400–1500. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  23. Khanmohamadi, Shirin A. In Light of Another’s Word: European Ethnography in the Middle Ages. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.Google Scholar
  24. Lennon, Joseph. Irish Orientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  25. Lieberman, Max. The Medieval March of Wales: The Creation and Perception of a Frontier, 1066–1283. Cambridge University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  26. Mittman, Asa Simon. “The Other Close at Hand: Gerald of Wales and the ‘Marvels of the West.’” The Monstrous Middle Ages, eds. Bettina Bildhauer and Robert Mills. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  27. Richter, Michael. Giraldus Cambrensis: The Growth of the Welsh Nation, 2nd edition. Abersteyth: The National Library of Wales, 1976.Google Scholar
  28. Roach, Joseph. Cities of the Dead. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  29. Rooney, C. “The Manuscripts of the Works of Gerald of Wales.” Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge University, 2005.Google Scholar
  30. Sargent, Amelia Borrego. “Gerald of Wales’s Topographia Hibernica: Dates, Versions, Readers.” Viator 43.1 (2012), 241–262.Google Scholar
  31. Scott, David. Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  32. Searle, Eleanor. Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840–1066. Berkley: University of California Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  33. Shichtman, Martin B., and Laurie A. Finke. “Profiting from the Past: History as Symbolic Capital in the Historia Regum Britanniae.” Arthurian Literature XII (1994), 1–45.Google Scholar
  34. Spiegel, Gabrielle M. “Genealogy: Form and Function in Medieval Historical Narrative.” History and Theory 22.1 (1983), 43–53.Google Scholar
  35. Tomich, Dale W. Through the Prism of Slavery: Labor, Capital and the World Economy. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004.Google Scholar
  36. Warren, Michelle. “Making Contact: Postcolonial Perspectives through Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie.” Arthuriana 8.4 (1998), 115–134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew X. Vernon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, DavisDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations