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.1146–1220/3) 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. Volume 1, edited by historian J. S. Brewer (1809–79) and published in 1861, with an introduction in English to the Latin texts, consists of Giraldus' polemical-apologetic account of his life and the St David's case, and a collection of his letters, poems, and prefaces. Giraldus is noted for his vigorous Latin and anecdotal style, and this volume gives a vivid portrait of medieval Britain and the power struggles of the Angevin court, while illuminating nineteenth-century interest in the period.