Radulfi de Diceto Decani Lundoniensis opera historica
Ralph de Diceto (d.1199/1200), dean of St Paul's, was both a painstaking compiler of information and an intellectual historian of remarkably wide vision. This two-volume collection of his writings, originally published in 1876, covers the history of the world from the Creation to 1202 (it was continued posthumously). The historian J. F. A. Mason wrote that the Abbreviationes chronicorum (included in Volume 1, together with the first part of the more important Ymagines historiarum) at the time represented the most ambitious attempt at a world history made by an Englishman. In his preface as editor to this volume, William Stubbs (1825–1901) gives a characteristically thorough background to the author, writing extensively on, among other topics, the question of Ralph's mysterious name. His edition also benefits from the reintroduction of Ralph's elsewhere-omitted marginal signa: a pictorial code of crosses, swords, and crowns being torn at by jealous hands.