A Tale of Two Monasteries: Westminster and Saint-Denis in by William Chester Jordan

By William Chester Jordan

A story of 2 Monasteries takes an unheard of examine one of many nice rivalries of the center a while and gives it as a revealing lens in which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. this is often the 1st booklet to systematically examine Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of crucial ecclesiastical associations of the 13th century--and to take action throughout 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 wide ranging 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 exasperating overseas diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in a single approach or one other, performed very important roles in these kinds of advancements. Jordan strains their upward push from imprecise backgrounds to the top ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard changing into royal treasurer of britain, and Abbot Mathieu two times serving as a regent of France in the course of the crusades. by way of allowing us to appreciate the complicated 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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152–61. 30 Clark, “Saint-Denis,” p. 838. 31 Spiegel, Chronicle Tradition of Saint-Denis. The use of monasteries as archival depositories, closely related to the historiographical function, was commonplace for lay aristocrats and monarchs across Christian Europe: Crouch, “Norman ‘Conventio,’” p. 299; Demurger, Templiers, p. 377. 33 The great monastery had rivals in France, and it was as rivals that the abbot and monks thought of institutions like Reims cathedral, the coronation church. Perhaps the feeling of rivalry peaked at those moments during the coronations when the abbot of Saint-Denis was obliged to take his part in the ceremony.

85 Baaken, “Verhandlungen von Cluny (1245),” pp. 531–79. 86 Jordan, “Cutting the Budget,” pp. 307–18. See also Murray, Notre-Dame Cathedral of Amiens, p. 76. 87 Jordan, Louis IX, pp. 79–82. Whether churchmen desired to or even thought it fair that they should contribute may be doubted; see Buc, Ambiguı¨te´ du Livre, pp. 279–80. 88 Jordan, Louis IX, pp. 46–63; idem, French Monarchy and the Jews, pp. 133–37, 144– 46; Sive´ry, “Me´contentement dans le royaume de France,” pp. 3–4; Bartlett, “Impact of Royal Government,” pp.

But resentments rose to the surface soon afterward, in part instigated by King John’s widow and Henry III’s mother, Isabelle d’Angouleˆme, who had been forced to return to the Continent on her husband’s death. It was Isabelle’s several children from her remarriage who would become the alien beneficiaries of enormous and envied amounts of largesse from Henry III. At this juncture Isabelle inspired her husband, Hugues de la Marche (son of the original fiance´ from whom John had snatched her), to join with a number of other disgruntled magnates and rebel against Louis IX.

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