Between History and Hagiography: Eadmer of Canterbury’s vision of the Historia novorum in Anglia

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Written between c.1093 and the end of the 1120s, Eadmer of Canterbury’s Historia novorum in Anglia is one of the best-known sources for the study of Anglo-Norman political, ecclesiastical and cultural history. This article explores the identity of the text as it developed in Eadmer’s own mind. While modern scholars have placed the Historia novorum within the development of English national historiography, Eadmer showed no desire for his work to be received in this way. Instead, Eadmer’s Historia was profoundly influenced by his extensive experience in writing the lives and miracles of saints. The Historia novorum occupies a space between history and hagiography, which successfully redeployed Eadmer’s experiences of writing the past through hagiography, in order to produce an innovative and unique example of the genre of medieval historiography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number1
Early online date11 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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