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The Historians of Angevin England$
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Michael Staunton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198769965.001.0001

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Writing Contemporary History in Medieval England

Writing Contemporary History in Medieval England

(p.19) 2 Writing Contemporary History in Medieval England
The Historians of Angevin England

Michael Staunton

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of why so many people in England at the end of the twelfth century and the beginning of the thirteenth chose to write contemporary history. A distinctive feature of historical writing in Angevin England is the attention paid to recent events. Here, various possible explanations for this trend are advanced, including the prominence of secular writers in this period, the inheritance of a body of English history written by an earlier generation, political developments from the 1170s onwards, and a greater attention to modernity in certain intellectual circles. It is suggested that among the most important contributory factors are the dramatic events themselves of the last decades of the twelfth century.

Keywords:   Angevin England, contemporary history, twelfth century, modernity, historical writing

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