Giraldi Cambrensis opera
Despite a frustrated ecclesiastical career – his ongoing failure to secure the See of St David's embittered him – Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales, Gerald de Barry, c.1146–1220/23) composed many remarkable literary works, initially while employed as a royal clerk for Henry II and, subsequently, in semi-retirement in Lincoln. Eight volumes of his works were compiled as part of the Rolls Series of British medieval material. Noted for his vigorous Latin and anecdotal style, Giraldus gives a vivid portrait of medieval Britain – he revived the ethnographic monograph, lapsed since antiquity – and of the intrigues of the Angevin court. Volume 5, edited by clergyman and historian James F. Dimock (1810–76) and published in 1867, contains Giraldus' treatises on Ireland, his earliest works. The Latin text provides an outstanding contemporary source, while the English editorial preface illuminates nineteenth-century interest in the period.