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History Books in the Anglo-Norman World c.1100-c.1300

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Medieval history shapes identity

Examining medieval manuscripts sheds light on how history was written in the Anglo-Norman world in the 12th and 13th centuries.

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As history gained popularity amongst an educated population, new records were produced that pertained to people, nations and subjects. Issues that were dealt with during the 12th and 13th centuries were centred on conquest and identity. HISTORY BOOKS (History books in the Anglo-Norman world c.1100-c.1300) was an EU-funded project that examined the surviving volumes of this period. In so doing, it probed the size and layout of the writing, the materials in use and the intended audience. Most importantly, the researchers looked at how images together with manuscripts were used to generate specific notions about the diverse communities of the Anglo-Norman world. Particular collections looked at were the manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin that had been under-researched. The collaborative and interdisciplinary effort was composed of experts in the fields of art history, history, literary studies and palaeography. Three visiting fellows and a postdoctoral researcher were hosted. Results included a public lecture series and an exhibition of manuscripts. Findings were presented to the scholarly community and the general public via lectures, conferences, publications and exhibitions. The work of HISTORY BOOKS will facilitate the production and content of books and highlight broader issues regarding the use of history to construct local, ethnic and religious identities.

Keywords

Medieval, history, identity, HISTORY BOOKS, Anglo-Norman, literary studies

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