Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I
The fourth volume of this four-volume set of Latin chronicles, edited by Richard Howlett (1841–1917) and published between 1884 and 1889, contains the work of Robert of Torigni (c.1110–86), abbot of Mont Saint-Michel, whose chronicle is a continuation of the Gesta Normannorum ducum ('Deeds of the Norman dukes') up to the time of Henry II. Despite problems with the chronology of the work, Robert's chronicle remains a valuable source for the early years of Henry II's reign. Howlett's introduction provides historical background as well as an exhaustive survey of both Robert's sources and the various versions of his manuscript. However, he finds fault with the 'reticence' of a chronicler who hardly mentions the murder of Beckett or Henry's role in it. Also included is the Continuatio Beccensis, a chronicle from Bec Abbey of the years 1157–60, in addition to an appendix of items relating to Robert's abbacy. Helpful English side-notes to the Latin texts are provided throughout.