“…and by God’s mercy annalists will surely not be wanting”: Thomas Becket, memory, and narrative in annalistic writing

Connolly, Giles (2023). “…and by God’s mercy annalists will surely not be wanting”: Thomas Becket, memory, and narrative in annalistic writing. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis offers new insights into the historiographical value and significance of the annalistic chronicle, challenging the notion that it is only of limited use for the study of the Middle Ages. Far from being simple records of events, annals were sophisticated works, the product of discerning editorial decisions. Multiple levels of meaning were layered throughout annals to create a text which embodied the beliefs, concerns and circumstances of their authors. By assessing the presentation of Thomas Becket in annalistic chronicles, a new perspective can be gained on a notable saint, and a better understanding achieved of the texts themselves and the monks who created them. Frameworks of narrative and memory are employed to create an assessment that is more sympathetic to the idiosyncrasies of annalistic writing. This approach encompasses the commemorative and historical processes at work within an individual annal and across the text as a whole. Each annalist was purposefully choosing what to remember and what to forget, and their creative responses moulded the past to suit their particular circumstances. The chronicles that they produced represent a vital opportunity to consider these authors and their world, and should thus be regarded as an integral component of medieval historiography.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Wolfson Foundation
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13271


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