William of Malmesbury

David Anthony Woodman (University of Cambridge)
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William of Malmesbury was born


1090 to a Norman father and English mother. He was a prolific Latin author of the early to mid-twelfth century, a man formidably well read in hundreds of texts by patristic, classical and early medieval authors. He travelled extensively within England in pursuit of books and documents not already known to him; and arranged for the copying and transmission of many of these. Despite the vast quantity of his own writing, he has left precious few autobiographical details. As a boy he was placed in the monastery of Malmesbury abbey where he went on to become librarian and precentor, but refused the office of abbot. The exact date of his death is unknown but is inferred to be


1142 or 1143 since his last work, the

Historia novella

, records details of events…

2141 words

Citation: Woodman, David Anthony. "William of Malmesbury". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4727, accessed 15 July 2024.]

4727 William of Malmesbury 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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