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. Volume 4, edited by historian J. S. Brewer (1809–79) and published in 1873, contains two texts, one a moral, quasi-pastoral critique of the monastic orders, the other a life of Geoffrey Plantagenet (1151–1212), Archbishop of York, focusing on power struggles at the Angevin court. Noted for his vigorous Latin and anecdotal style, Giraldus gives a vivid portrait of medieval Britain, while the English editorial preface illuminates nineteenth-century interest in the period.