Theme- Life Writing

  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 19-01-18 16:15
Who wrote the first book about the legend of King Arthur in what book?
Geoffrey of Monmouth, -The Historia Regum Britanniae
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How long did it take to write?
8 years, -1130-38,
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How did he conform to the common patter of the Middle Ages in terms of being a writer?
He was a monk and had a religious background, as well as necessary academic learning
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For the sources he used for this book, what is one irregularity in his sources?
"a certain very ancient book written in the British language'- no on knew where it is,
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What is another source he uses by Nennius?
The Historia Brittonum (History of the britons 800s,
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What is another source he used by Nennius from 9th C?
Cities and Marvels of Britain
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What source did he also use that provided a mroe recent list of welsh kings and genealogies?
Annales cambriae, Annals of Wales 10th C
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For his History of Kings, what is questinnable about it?
is if factual? Does he want us to believe that?
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Why should we question whether it would be historically accurate?
Was history in the 13th C the same as history today
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Which contemporary liked Geoffrey's history?
Henry of Huntingdon
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What book did he write in which he used parts because he liked it so much? How did he adapt the Arthur image?
Historia Anglorum, -'Romance history' or 'romance'- Original Arthur legend turned into courtly figure with knights and round table,
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However, who wrote the Historian rerum Anglicarum and found it wanting?
William Newburgh,
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What did Newburgh comment on about the reliabiity of Geoffrey's work?
'It is quite clear that everything this man wrote about Arthur and his successors...was made up, partly by hiimself and partly by others, either from an inordinate love of flying, or for the sake of pleasing Britons'
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Is he dishonest?
He is in the sense he claims to use works he clearly doesn't
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Therefore is the Historia a work of fiction and lies?
Probably not- History writing very different to what it is now- Not necessarily writing facts or truth ut showing he knew classical writers
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What was seen as a good history?
If you copied someone, particularly classical writers- Seen as good e.g. Cicero,
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Did Goefffey have an alternative agenda for the book in terms of sale?
he wasn't trying to sell books so not a cynical exercise, but rather beleived it was true. Can't be judged by the same standards
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did more writers believe or reject him?
More beleived him than rejected him
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Although how did Newburg slate him?
Suggested Geoffrey wrote about animated corpses rising from the dead
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For the HRB, who did he dedicated his work to and why?
To key players in 12th C England such as Robert of Gloucester, to gain patronage, money and favour as well as status,
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What political instability influenced his work at the time of his writing?
Rival claims to English throne after death of Henry I in 1135. HE was the 4th son of William Conqueror but didn't have a legitimate son which created a problem
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What did Geoffrey want to provide for England based on figures such as Brutus, Belinus and Arthur?
He wanted to provide England with a national and racial figure to look up to- Before there was no such figure,
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What historian suggested the HRB was for what dynasty rather than the Frankish Charlemange?
-Gerould, -Anglo-Norman dynasty
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What did Cadwallader say about the HRB creating a British legacy?
-Old welsh ruler- Door left open to Saxons, so God lefr England to Normans- All divine intervention
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What did Tatlock suggest about the link between Celtic British Kings and Normans?
Exploits of celtic British Kings mirror Normans achievements and what was going on at the time- Road building, battles, chivalric displays,
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Arthur the imperilaist is equalled to?
WIlliam the Conqueror
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What did Kinight suggest the HRB was aiming to do?
HRB as an active ideological intervention- Trying to make things happened as well as celebrate Anglo-Nroman achievement,
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AS the Norman dynasty was still fairly young ,what did Wright say the HRB aimed to do?
IT appealed to political unity
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Did the HRB give birth to the legend of Arthut?
No- This occured later, but gave it a boost for subsequent stories- 200 manuscript copies still exist, which is a lot in modern day standards,
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Within 2 decades, what translations occured?
2 French translation and an English translation,
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Give some reasons for why Geoffrey chose Arthur?
Myterious origins, magical, chivalry, Avalon- Will return from death, romance,
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For Arthur and being a hero, what did Bloomfield stress about heros then and now?
Medieval hero different to today's hero- 'The problem of the hero in the medieval period'
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Often what were heroes?
Extraordinary men/women, protectors
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What kind of hero began to appear in the Middle Ages?
Rie of anti-heroic,
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What is one reason for this based on dialectic?
Increasingly they would look at tow sides of the story then form a conclusion
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For Christina of Markyate, what was a hagiography?
A spiritual biography written by religious communities about the life of extraordinary persons
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What was written about Christina which shows what?
Life, -Shoes people writing it wanted her to become a monk
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When were hagiography's usually written. Did hers conform to this pattern?
Usually written after the person's death, but hers written during her life
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In comparison to other hagiographies, what is different about hers?
Christina's life seems more realistic and direct than others,
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What element is there in the hagiography that was popular in 12th ?
Romance- Disguise and escape from the Bishop- Everyday story of her life
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How many copies survive?
Two- One fragile text in British library, a 14th C copy- Badly damaged from fire, -Another in Markyate priory
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Who was the writer?
Unknown but probably a monk as refers to our priory'
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When was in completed?
IT wasn't complete- It breaks off mid sentences- Did it ever get finished or stop because she died,
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In Life, ho many visions occur?
42 are mentioned
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How many does Christina have?
Christina has over 2/3rds, Geoffrey has around 3 and the rest distributed evenly among her friends and enemies
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How do these visions help the modern reader?
Modern reader can understand how the vision helped the author and Christina to explain intenions and feelings
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What did the anonymous author go to great plains to make clear with these visions?
To make clear bizarre visions were genuine experiences and drew some interesting distinctions
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What three themes characterise the Vita?
Friendship between nun and French abbot of the richest abbey in England, -Struggle to maintain chastity, -Her visions anddreams
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What did Christina struggle with based on friendship?
Struggling in her own unsubtle way with her relationship with Geoffrey fitted in with her love of herself and God
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Give a quote to show how she examined her life and relationships?
'She began to examine more often and more closely in the depths of her heart whether anyone can love another more than himself, as least in matters that pertain to the love of God'
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Where did the answer come from for this struggle?
In a vision
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What did this vision show?
Showed Jesus standing at an altar- She was on the Lord's right honourable side and was alarmed to see he was on his left
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What does Life show about other peoples views of their sweet conversations and gifts?
It prodcued envy- 'the abbot... a seducer, an the maiden a loose woman'
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How did it portray hwo Christina got through her sexual torment?
With visions of Christ's child
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However, what was Brooke's main issue about Life?
Is reads like a romance
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What did Talbot say aboiut the Monk's intention to support their views?
The monk 'was conscious also that here was a story to which pure imaginative romance, whether courtly or popular, could offer little competition'
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What was the history of William Marshall?
A 19,000 line poem in Anglo Norman
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When was it discovered and how many copies?
19th C, only 1 copy
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What kind of sources were used to form this?
Variety- Orally transmitted sources passed down the household, memoirs from interviews of knights and wider materials such as family archives
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Which sources did he have to rely on and what was the problem of this?
Reliance on oral stories- Means it only bears passing resemblance
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which sources did John prefer and why?
He preferred to rely on hard evidence as he knew things could be wrong
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What intention did John have when writing thus?
To secure Marshals reputation as aa great figure-courtier, soldiers and ideal chivalrous character
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What is unusual abut his death?
He went straight to heaven-'we believed he is saved and sits with GOd and his company'
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How did the Archbishop of Canterbury describe Marshal?
'The best knight to be found in all world of our times
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Who sai 'there was never a better knight to be found anywhere'?
Sir William de barres
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How did the King of France describe him?
'Most loyal man in truth, that I ever knew in any land where I have been'
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What two events were glossed over as they weren't favoured?
-Marshal helping King John secure the throne and being made Earl of Pembrooke, -Deals with French King to keep possession in France
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How should we interpret history?
Secular biography?
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What is good about a secular biography?
Gives a sense of who the real man was following chivalric valeus rather than christian values
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What secular values took priority?
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On Marshals death bed, he was asked how he would go to God without returning what?
his booty
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What was Marshal's reply?
'He said he had taken 500 knights prisoner, and can't return these things and must 'repent' all my sins. Unless the clergy want my complete damnation they must ask no more'.
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How does he criticise the clergy?
'But their teaching must be false, or no one would be saved'
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For Bernard of Clairvaux, who wrote the Vita Prima Bernardi (Firt Life of Bernard)?
All written by monks as in Latin
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What was the VIta Prima Bernardi?
A hagiography,
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When was it written?
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What did the Vita Prima show about Bernard and religion?
Tried to show Bernard's sanctity so haped his writing- Wanted to make him the father of monasticism and make him a saint
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Does it tell us more about Bernard or sainthood?
It tells us more about ideals of sainthood in 12th C rather than Bernard himself,
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Why is this useful?
Useful to look at wider Christian ideology,
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When was it written in terms of his life?
8 years before his death, and continued 2-3 years after his death
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Who wrote book 1?
William of St Thierry
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When did he die?
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What relationship did they have?
Close friend since 1119- Joined Bernard's new order
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How far did he get in Bernards life?
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Who wrote book two?
Arnold of Bonneval near Chartres
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When did he beging writing it?
Before 1153
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What was interesting about this book based on other people?
Knew some of the people close to Bernard in th 30s- Planning involved? communal project?
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What part of Bernard did Arnold focus on?
His work on the road as a healer and preacher and Papal Schism occuring at the time,
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Who wrote the last three books and what relation was he to Bernard?
Geroffrey of Auxerre- Monk at his monastery, secretary and companion after 1140
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How did he write?
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When did he stop writing?
Soon after Bernard's death
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Did he have an aim?
TO canonise Bernard
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When was Bernard canonised? How long after his death?
1174, -20 years after his death which is significant
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For miraculous visions, who was he commonly depicted with?
The Virgin mary
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What painting was there with Bernard andthe Virgin mary?
Lactio of Bernard- Receiving milk from the virgin's breast- Symbolically showing they had a direct and physical link to the Virgin Mary
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What historian in the 70s/80s found what part of Bernard's life itneresting?
he found his personality interesting
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How did he descirbe Bernard?
'A mystery to be venerated and admired and to be penetrated by those who had recieved the grace to do so'
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What does Bredero say about the miracles and Bernard?
he dismisses accounts of miracles and tries to get around the cult of St Bernard to discover Bernard's life,
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How did Holdsworth view these miracles?
Reserved judgement about miracles being miracles but believed writers based this on events that were miraculous and based on 'real events''
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Therefore what are all these historians trying to find in Bernard?
His charisma,
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What is significant about Margery Kempe's life writing?
First autobiography in English
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Why does corss suggest this was an orla history written down?
As the book is written not in order, just as the matter came to the creature's mind then it was written down,
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What did Cross say was a clear problem with the oral history?
She had clearly forgotten the time and order when things occured,
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Although do we really know how it was structured?
No- Was there leading questions? re-ordered work?
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What purpose did this book have?
Didactic purpose- There to teach
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How does it refer to Kempe?
'This creatyre'- Not I but her- Third person
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What does the book discuss about her feelings and revelations?
She had to go through trials- Religious spin-'heres beings a short treatise and a comforting one for sinful wretches'
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For understandin the book's subject, how has she been portrayd with her visions?
margery the madwoman- Hysteria, post-natal depression, personality disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, sexual repression
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Although whats the problems with these categories?
can we apply modern day psychology to medieval context
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Which historians suggested she was a mystic and what did they say about her mysticism?
Rolle and Holton- Her mysticism was sensual, earthly, feminine and less content to remain without boundaries of Orthodoxy
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What do they suggest the book could represent about women and mysticism?
It could represent the adaption of mysticism by a middle class woman from Lynn- Diferent from mysticism to normal- Vernacular
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What did Allen and other historians suggest about her mysticism?
Noted there were continential counterparts to this mysticism and sensuality
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Windeatt read Margery's book in the context she knew about they women. What did he discover?
The author discusses the screaming and crying as normal for women in the medieval ages, but she has an ego so slightly different
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For the debate if she was proto-feminist or patriarchal,what historian said she managed to form her own life, rejecting the norms?
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While Arnold says she defies patriarchal authority, what sheos she doesnt?
She repeatedly looks up to the same authority to authorise her actions
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In support of this, what did Jones say about who th ebook was written for?
Written 'by clergy, for clergy and about clergy'- Veyr male dominated, clergy persuing own agendas
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For the debate if she was proto-feminist or patriarchal,what historian said she managed to form her own life, rejecting the norms?
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While Arnold says she defies patriarchal authority, what sheos she doesnt?
She repeatedly looks up to the same authority to authorise her actions
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In support of this, what did Jones say about who th ebook was written for?
Written 'by clergy, for clergy and about clergy'- Veyr male dominated, clergy persuing own agendas
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How long did it take to write?


8 years, -1130-38,

Card 3


How did he conform to the common patter of the Middle Ages in terms of being a writer?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


For the sources he used for this book, what is one irregularity in his sources?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is another source he uses by Nennius?


Preview of the front of card 5
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