The Norman Conquest in English History
Volume I: A Broken Chain?
The Norman Conquest in English History, Volume 1: A Broken Chain? pursues a central theme in English historical thinking over seven centuries. Covering more than half a millennium, this first volume explains how and why the experience of the Norman Conquest prompted both an unprecedented campaign in the early twelfth century to write (or create) the history of England, and to excavate (and fabricate) pre-Conquest English law. Garnett traces the treatment of the Conquest in English historiography, legal theory and practice, and political argument through the middle ages and early modern period, examining the dispersal of these materials from libraries afer the dissolution of the monasteries, and the attempts made to rescue, edit, and print many of them in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. These preservation efforts enabled the Conquest to become still more contested in the constitutional cataclysms of the seventeenth century than it had been in the eleventh and twelfth. The seventeenth-century resurrection of the Conquest will be the subject of a second volume.