Alexander Alison, Annalistic writing in Normandy, c. 1050-c. 1225
Alexander Alison, Annalistic writing in Normandy, c. 1050-c. 1225, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. E. van Houts, University of Cambridge)
This thesis provides an analysis of annalistic writing in Normandy between c. 1050 and c. 1225. It examines three principal groups of texts which were written and copied in religious institutions throughout the duchy from the mid-eleventh century, before being transmitted beyond its borders into France and England. Its purpose is to address a significant gap in modern scholarship by establishing the origin, development and purpose of annalistic writing in Normandy and to consider the contribution of the texts to our understanding of Norman history in this period.
The thesis consists of three main parts, followed by two appendices. Part I addresses the annals of Rouen, which were first written in Rouen cathedral chapter c. 1054/5 and which subsequently became the base text for one family of Norman annals. It presents a model of composition, outlining stages of redaction, sources used in its production and textual development down to c. 1225. The text is also examined within the context of institutional and historiographical developments in the cathedral chapter of Rouen in the same period. Part II addresses the monastic annals of Normandy, outlining patterns of dissemination around the duchy and analysing each text in turn. Part II A considers the Rouen family of annals, Part II B the Bec family and Part II C the ‘Fécamp’ family. Finally, Part III considers the contribution of this analysis to modern scholarship. It examines what the annals can tell us about the nature and purpose of historical writing in Norman religious communities; and discusses how the texts can be used to enhance our knowledge of Norman history at both the institutional and the duchy-wide level. The thesis also includes a general introduction and conclusion, a bibliography, several diagrams and two technical appendices which provide an overview of the manuscripts in which the Norman annals are now preserved.