The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury
Gervase of Canterbury (c.1145–c.1210) was professed as a member of the cathedral priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, by Thomas Becket in 1163. His observations on both church and court matters give his work breadth, ranging from the king's authority to ecclesiastical topography. A prominent player in the notorious dispute between the monks and Archbishop Baldwin, Gervase attempted to reassert the traditional role of Christ Church as the archiepiscopal church at a time when its position was under threat. This two-volume collection, edited by the scholar William Stubbs (1824–1901) and published between 1879 and 1880, comprises Gervase's entire corpus of Latin works (with marginal notes in English). Volume 2 includes the Gesta regum, which begins with Brutus's Albion and is drawn from authorities such as Geoffrey of Monmouth; the Actus Pontificum, a series of lives of the archbishops of Canterbury until 1205; and the Mappa mundi, an unprecedented monastic topography of England.