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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Roger of Howden

Roger of Howden

A Historian in Government

(p.51) 3 Roger of Howden
The Historians of Angevin England

Michael Staunton

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the work of Roger of Howden, whose two massive chronicles are fundamental to our understanding of political life in the last decades of the twelfth century, paying particular attention to his use of sources. Roger’s chronicles provide an account of public events under Kings Henry II and Richard I that is unrivalled in volume and detail. Howden played a role in royal and ecclesiastical government, but it is argued here that it is only with difficulty that we can use his works as evidence of his own view of the events that he reports. His work is distinguished by its use of administrative and legal texts, but an analysis of his use of sources shows that he also drew on a much wider range of written materials, often without acknowledgement. In fact, when we read Howden’s words, we are often reading the words of others too.

Keywords:   Roger of Howden, twelfth century, chronicles, Henry II, Richard I, government

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