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Christian Works : Historia novella

William of Malmesbury

Christian Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Contains a sixteenth-century copy of the <i>Historia novella</i> (<i>Contemporary history</i>) by the monk and historian William of Malmesbury (c. 1090-c. 1143) which was made for Matthew Parker. The text was copied from a twelfth-century manuscript owned by John Whitgift (1530?-1604) which is now <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.7.10</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The <i>Historia novella</i> was William of Malmesbury's last work, written between 1140 and 1143. It was commissioned by Robert, earl of Gloucester (c. 1090-1147) and relates the dramatic contemporary events of the succession dispute between King Stephen and Empress Matilda which descended into civil war. It is one of the most important sources for the history of the conflict. William was well-connected and well-informed, even, on occasion, an eyewitness to the events he describes.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>MS CUL Ff.1.25 is a composite manuscript made up of five different parts of different dates compiled in the sixteenth century. It was donated to the University Library by Archbishop Matthew Parker who gave 25 manuscripts from his collection in 1574. The parts were separated and bound individually in 1862.</p>

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