By William Chester Jordan
A story of 2 Monasteries takes an extraordinary examine one of many nice rivalries of the center a long time and gives it as a revealing lens in which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. this can be the 1st publication to systematically examine Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of crucial ecclesiastical associations of the 13th century--and to take action during the lives and competing careers of the 2 males who governed them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de Vend?me of Saint-Denis.
Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a panoramic narrative of the social, cultural, and political background of the interval. It was once an age of uprising and crusades, of creative and architectural innovation, of unheard of political reform, and of annoying foreign diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in a single means or one other, performed vital roles in these kinds of advancements. Jordan strains their upward thrust from imprecise backgrounds to the top ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard turning into royal treasurer of britain, and Abbot Mathieu two times serving as a regent of France through the crusades. via permitting us to appreciate the advanced relationships the abbots and their rival associations shared with one another and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them, A story of 2 Monasteries paints a brilliant portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the bold males who inspired them so profoundly.
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Extra resources for A Tale of Two Monasteries: Westminster and Saint-Denis in the Thirteenth Century
47. 100 Relations between the two kingdoms, England and France, and the two kings, Henry III and Louis IX, had something of an unresolved quality about them in the decade of the 1250s, which any serious observer would have noticed. The most striking anomaly was the war, in that it was now a war in name only. And yet, the long truces notwithstanding, it was the pervasive suspicion and hostility between the two realms that remained powerful, occasionally acute, and almost wholly sterile. Henry’s desire to win Sicily and Louis’s to relieve the Holy Land made the animosity between their two countries doubly counterproductive.
The Cartulaire blanc, the most famous of these, is the record of no fewer than twenty-six hundred transactions and memoranda (see ﬁgs. 1 and 2). An abundance of individual charters also set down in writing gifts made by aristocrats and bourgeois, the abbey’s purchases and exchanges, and many other activities, making Saint-Denis, like Westminster, one of the bestdocumented institutions in medieval Europe. And these records show that its network of relations with different social groups from the crown right down to unfree peasants was intensive at every level.
371–72. 85 Frederick would not commit resources before the fact of reconciliation, the lifting of his excommunication, and the annulment of his deposition. 87 The king himself also authorized a thoroughgoing investigation of the realm in 1247, the intention being to streamline administration and make it more effective ﬁscally, and to atone for injustices that royal ofﬁcials had accidentally or deliberately committed against his subjects during his reign. The results of these extraordinary investigations, largely but not exclusively carried out by nonadministrators, Franciscan and Dominican friars and a few other men without any obvious self-interest in hiding the administration’s failings, were sobering.
A Tale of Two Monasteries: Westminster and Saint-Denis in the Thirteenth Century by William Chester Jordan