Catalogue


A tale of two monasteries : Westminster and Saint-Denis in the thirteenth century /
William Chester Jordan.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2009.
description
xviii, 245 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780691139012 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2009.
isbn
9780691139012 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6779573
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [223]-242) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Historians talk about comparative history. Professor Jordan has done it: two monasteries, two abbots, two kings, two kingdoms, and the turmoil of the mid-thirteenth century. This is a boundary-crossing study of men, policy, ambition, competition, and their efforts to leave a legacy. Another Jordan triumph."--Joel T. Rosenthal, distinguished professor emeritus, Stony Brook University, State University of New York"Another classic Jordan book: wholly original in conception, thoroughly grounded in the primary sources, and written in a vigorous, inimitable style. With a keen eye for detail, Jordan has strewn his chapters with perceptive observations about the principal players and their complex relationships. This is a thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing book. Readers will find a vivid window into the thirteenth century."--Theodore Evergates, author ofThe Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300"This is an original and striking book by a leading American medievalist. It will be essential reading for all scholars in the field. Written in a clear and accessible prose, it will also reach a wider public."--David Carpenter, author ofThe Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066-1284
Flap Copy
"Historians talk about comparative history. Professor Jordan has done it: two monasteries, two abbots, two kings, two kingdoms, and the turmoil of the mid-thirteenth century. This is a boundary-crossing study of men, policy, ambition, competition, and their efforts to leave a legacy. Another Jordan triumph."-- Joel T. Rosenthal, distinguished professor emeritus, Stony Brook University, State University of New York "Another classic Jordan book: wholly original in conception, thoroughly grounded in the primary sources, and written in a vigorous, inimitable style. With a keen eye for detail, Jordan has strewn his chapters with perceptive observations about the principal players and their complex relationships. This is a thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing book. Readers will find a vivid window into the thirteenth century."-- Theodore Evergates, author of The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300 "This is an original and striking book by a leading American medievalist. It will be essential reading for all scholars in the field. Written in a clear and accessible prose, it will also reach a wider public."-- David Carpenter, author of The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066-1284
Flap Copy
"Historians talk about comparative history. Professor Jordan has done it: two monasteries, two abbots, two kings, two kingdoms, and the turmoil of the mid-thirteenth century. This is a boundary-crossing study of men, policy, ambition, competition, and their efforts to leave a legacy. Another Jordan triumph."--Joel T. Rosenthal, distinguished professor emeritus, Stony Brook University, State University of New York "Another classic Jordan book: wholly original in conception, thoroughly grounded in the primary sources, and written in a vigorous, inimitable style. With a keen eye for detail, Jordan has strewn his chapters with perceptive observations about the principal players and their complex relationships. This is a thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing book. Readers will find a vivid window into the thirteenth century."--Theodore Evergates, author of The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300 "This is an original and striking book by a leading American medievalist. It will be essential reading for all scholars in the field. Written in a clear and accessible prose, it will also reach a wider public."--David Carpenter, author of The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066-1284
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-03-01:
In this tidy comparative study of two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the Middle Ages, Jordan (Princeton) uses the monasteries and the men chosen to govern them in 1258 as an entry into relations between 13th-century England and France. He finds many similarities both between the monasteries and between Richard de Ware and Mathieu de Vendome, the men who headed them. Both monasteries were Benedictine, under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, and under the patronage and protection of their respective monarchies. The abbots' skills and loyalty to their kings resulted in high positions in their states, Richard as royal treasurer and Mathieu as regent. Jordan emphasizes the close and strongly competitive nature of relations between the two kingdoms and their respective monasteries amid significant changes in each government. Both monasteries became "repositories of the national patrimony" and "center[s] of the cult of monarchy" (p. 216), embodying each kingdom's "emerging national spirit" (p. 220). With attention to detail and the complexity of historical context, Jordan offers an original study of the effects of relations between the two kingdoms on the political, economic, and cultural life of each realm. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. Harrie California State University, Bakersfield
Reviews
Review Quotes
In this tidy comparative study of two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the Middle Ages, Jordan uses the monasteries and the men chosen to govern them in 1258 as an entry into relations between 13th-century England and France.
"In this tidy comparative study of two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the Middle Ages, Jordan uses the monasteries and the men chosen to govern them in 1258 as an entry into relations between 13th-century England and France."-- Choice
In this tidy comparative study of two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the Middle Ages, Jordan uses the monasteries and the men chosen to govern them in 1258 as an entry into relations between 13th-century England and France. -- Choice
Jordan, a Princeton professor and a much-lauded medievalist, knows a good coincidence when he sees one. He has set about comparing and contrasting the tenures of the two abbots (which both lasted for a quarter of a century) and, along the way, he manages to provide some fascinating insights into the turbulent thirteenth-century relationship between France and England. This is a spectacularly accomplished book: learned, witty and very important. The shock is that no one has undertaken such a study before. . . . I've said it once, and I'm told that repetition is a useful rhetorical device, so here we go again: this book is superb.
Jordan, a Princeton professor and a much-lauded medievalist, knows a good coincidence when he sees one. He has set about comparing and contrasting the tenures of the two abbots (which both lasted for a quarter of a century) and, along the way, he manages to provide some fascinating insights into the turbulent thirteenth-century relationship between France and England. This is a spectacularly accomplished book: learned, witty and very important. The shock is that no one has undertaken such a study before. . . . I've said it once, and I'm told that repetition is a useful rhetorical device, so here we go again: this book is superb. -- Jonathan Wright, The Tablet
"Jordan enlists these two monasteries, their abbots, and especially their documents to trace a new and privileged path through the political history of later thirteenth-century England and France. Jordan has given us another of his own classics, a refreshing account of a well-known era."-- David C. Mengel, Journal of World History
Jordan enlists these two monasteries, their abbots, and especially their documents to trace a new and privileged path through the political history of later thirteenth-century England and France. Jordan has given us another of his own classics, a refreshing account of a well-known era. -- David C. Mengel, Journal of World History
"Jordan's comparative approach and expert insights make this book an important study for scholars in the field. Its lucid style, engaging narrative, compact synthesis, and clear explanations, however, open up the political and ecclesiastical world of the thirteenth century to a wider audience and it is likely to become a favourite textbook and a model for historical writing."-- Marc B. Cels, Canadian Journal of History
Jordan's comparative approach and expert insights make this book an important study for scholars in the field. Its lucid style, engaging narrative, compact synthesis, and clear explanations, however, open up the political and ecclesiastical world of the thirteenth century to a wider audience and it is likely to become a favourite textbook and a model for historical writing. -- Marc B. Cels, Canadian Journal of History
"Meticulous in historical detail, A Tale of Two Monasteries tells a remarkable and rather captivating narrative. . . . Jordan's research is based on a thorough reading of a huge array of documents. . . . The bibliography is impressive, and the citations and discursive footnotes are immensely valuable to medieval scholarship. But Jordan is also a storyteller; he captures something of the spirit of daily life. . . . The reader has a sense of being there and is guided through the poignancies, the portent, and the bearing these royal successions will have for the abbeys and their abbots."-- Rosemary Drage Hale, Journal of British Studies
Meticulous in historical detail, A Tale of Two Monasteries tells a remarkable and rather captivating narrative. . . . Jordan's research is based on a thorough reading of a huge array of documents. . . . The bibliography is impressive, and the citations and discursive footnotes are immensely valuable to medieval scholarship. But Jordan is also a storyteller; he captures something of the spirit of daily life. . . . The reader has a sense of being there and is guided through the poignancies, the portent, and the bearing these royal successions will have for the abbeys and their abbots. -- Rosemary Drage Hale, Journal of British Studies
[T]his is a work that could only be written by a scholar who has spent a career examining the intricacies of medieval government in the often turbulent years of the thirteenth century. As such, the reader is well served by Professor Jordan's excellent book.
"[T]his is a work that could only be written by a scholar who has spent a career examining the intricacies of medieval government in the often turbulent years of the thirteenth century. As such, the reader is well served by Professor Jordans excellent book."-- Leonie Hicks, Church History
[T]his is a work that could only be written by a scholar who has spent a career examining the intricacies of medieval government in the often turbulent years of the thirteenth century. As such, the reader is well served by Professor Jordan's excellent book. -- Leonie Hicks, Church History
"William Chester Jordan's . . . meticulous research, lively mind, and unburdened prose. . . . A Tale of Two Monasteries is a closely researched and energetic cameo."-- Paul Binski, Catholic Historical Review
William Chester Jordan's . . . meticulous research, lively mind, and unburdened prose. . . . A Tale of Two Monasteries is a closely researched and energetic cameo. -- Paul Binski, Catholic Historical Review
William Chester Jordan's . . . meticulous research, lively mind, and unburdened prose. . . .A Tale of Two Monasteriesis a closely researched and energetic cameo. -- Paul Binski, Catholic Historical Review
Another classic Jordan book: wholly original in conception, thoroughly grounded in the primary sources, and written in a vigorous, inimitable style. With a keen eye for detail, Jordan has strewn his chapters with perceptive observations about the principal players and their complex relationships. This is a thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing book. Readers will find a vivid window into the thirteenth century.
Historians talk about comparative history. Professor Jordan has done it: two monasteries, two abbots, two kings, two kingdoms, and the turmoil of the mid-thirteenth century. This is a boundary-crossing study of men, policy, ambition, competition, and their efforts to leave a legacy. Another Jordan triumph.
This is an original and striking book by a leading American medievalist. It will be essential reading for all scholars in the field. Written in a clear and accessible prose, it will also reach a wider public.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Offering a view of the history of France and England through rival institutions, Westminster Abbey and the Abbey of Saint-Denis, and the men who ruled them, this book traces social, economic, cultural, and ideological aspects of their histories, highlighting both the similarities and differences among them.
Main Description
A Tale of Two Monasteries takes an unprecedented look at one of the great rivalries of the Middle Ages and offers it as a revealing lens through which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. This is the first book to systematically compare Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the thirteenth century--and to do so through the lives and competing careers of the two men who ruled them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de Vend me of Saint-Denis. Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a breathtaking narrative of the social, cultural, and political history of the period. It was an age of rebellion and crusades, of artistic and architectural innovation, of unprecedented political reform, and of frustrating international diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in one way or another, played important roles in all these developments. Jordan traces their rise from obscure backgrounds to the highest ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard becoming royal treasurer of England, and Abbot Mathieu twice serving as a regent of France during the crusades. By enabling us to understand the complex relationships the abbots and their rival institutions shared with each other and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them, A Tale of Two Monasteries paints a vivid portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the ambitious men who influenced them so profoundly.
Main Description
A Tale of Two Monasteries takes an unprecedented look at one of the great rivalries of the Middle Ages and offers it as a revealing lens through which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. This is the first book to systematically compare Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the thirteenth century--and to do so through the lives and competing careers of the two men who ruled them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de Vendôme of Saint-Denis. Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a breathtaking narrative of the social, cultural, and political history of the period. It was an age of rebellion and crusades, of artistic and architectural innovation, of unprecedented political reform, and of frustrating international diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in one way or another, played important roles in all these developments. Jordan traces their rise from obscure backgrounds to the highest ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard becoming royal treasurer of England, and Abbot Mathieu twice serving as a regent of France during the crusades. By enabling us to understand the complex relationships the abbots and their rival institutions shared with each other and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them, A Tale of Two Monasteries paints a vivid portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the ambitious men who influenced them so profoundly.
Main Description
A Tale of Two Monasteriestakes an unprecedented look at one of the great rivalries of the Middle Ages and offers it as a revealing lens through which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. This is the first book to systematically compare Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the thirteenth century--and to do so through the lives and competing careers of the two men who ruled them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de Vendôme of Saint-Denis. Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a breathtaking narrative of the social, cultural, and political history of the period. It was an age of rebellion and crusades, of artistic and architectural innovation, of unprecedented political reform, and of frustrating international diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in one way or another, played important roles in all these developments. Jordan traces their rise from obscure backgrounds to the highest ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard becoming royal treasurer of England, and Abbot Mathieu twice serving as a regent of France during the crusades. By enabling us to understand the complex relationships the abbots and their rival institutions shared with each other and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them,A Tale of Two Monasteriespaints a vivid portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the ambitious men who influenced them so profoundly.
Main Description
A Tale of Two Monasteriestakes an unprecedented look at one of the great rivalries of the Middle Ages and offers it as a revealing lens through which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. This is the first book to systematically compare Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the thirteenth century--and to do so through the lives and competing careers of the two men who ruled them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de VendÔme of Saint-Denis.Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a breathtaking narrative of the social, cultural, and political history of the period. It was an age of rebellion and crusades, of artistic and architectural innovation, of unprecedented political reform, and of frustrating international diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in one way or another, played important roles in all these developments. Jordan traces their rise from obscure backgrounds to the highest ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard becoming royal treasurer of England, and Abbot Mathieu twice serving as a regent of France during the crusades. By enabling us to understand the complex relationships the abbots and their rival institutions shared with each other and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them,A Tale of Two Monasteriespaints a vivid portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the ambitious men who influenced them so profoundly.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Technical Matters: Currencies, Calendars, Nomenclaturep. xvii
England and France in the Early Thirteenth Centuryp. 1
Two Great Monasteries and Two Young Menp. 25
The Treaty of Parisp. 49
The Best of Times, the Worst of Timesp. 66
A Monumental Rivalryp. 100
Two Royal Successionsp. 130
The Abbeys in the New Regimesp. 159
Diplomacy and Governancep. 182
Epiloguep. 216
Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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