Gerald of Wales

  • c. 1146–1220 x 1223
  • scholars, authors
See also references for related subjects.
Henley, Georgia, and A. Joseph McMullen (eds), Gerald of Wales: new perspectives on a medieval writer and critic, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2018.  
Gerald of Wales (c.1146–c.1223), widely recognised for his innovative ethnographic studies of Ireland and Wales, was the author of works that touch upon many aspects of twelfth-century life. Despite their valuable insights, the range of these works is vastly understudied, and the collection of essays in the present volume reassesses Gerald’s importance as a medieval Latin writer by focusing on the lesser-known works, and by providing a fuller context for his more popular writings.
Plass, Stephanie, “The scholar and the archbishop: new evidence for dating Gerald of Wales’s letter to Stephen Langton”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 75 (2018): 45–52.
Faletra, Michael A., Wales and the medieval colonial imagination: the matters of Britain in the twelfth century, The New Middle Ages, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  
Focusing on works by some of the major literary figures of the period, Michael A. Faletra argues that the legendary history of Britain that flourished in medieval chronicles and Arthurian romances traces its origins to twelfth-century Anglo-Norman colonial interest in Wales and the Welsh. Viewing the Welsh as England’s original repressed Other, this book identifies and critiques the ways in which medieval narratives construe Wales as a barbaric peripheral zone requiring colonial control. By focusing on texts across a variety of genres by some of the major literary figures of the period - including Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien de Troyes, Marie de France, Gerald of Wales, Walter Map, and John of Salisbury - Faletra offers innovative new readings that illuminate both the subtle power and the imaginative limitations of these matters of Britain.
(source: Palgrave Macmillan)
Bosch, Kor, “De schaduwzijde van het pauselijk hof. Twee Welshe impressies van middeleeuws Rome”, Ex Tempore 32 (2013): 97–112.  
The medieval Welshmen Gerald of Wales and Adam Usk wrote extensively about their visits to Rome. How do these accounts compare and what do they tell us about life in medieval Rome for visiting Welshmen?
Putter, Ad, “Multilingualism in England and Wales, c. 1200: the testimony of Gerald of Wales”, in: Kleinhenz, Christopher, and Keith Busby (eds), Medieval multilingualism: the francophone world and its neighbours, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe 20, Turnhout: Brepols, 2009. 83–106.
Putter, Ad, “Gerald of Wales and the prophet Merlin”, Anglo-Norman Studies 31 (2008): 90–103.  
My subject is the remarkable role of the prophet Merlin in English politics from Henry II through to King John, as evidenced by the writer who outlived them both, Gerald of Wales. [...]
Bartlett, Robert, Gerald of Wales: a voice of the middle ages, Stroud: Tempus, 2006.
Bartlett, Robert, “Gerald of Wales (c.1146–1220x23)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press. URL: <>.
McTurk, Rory, “Chaucer, Gerald of Wales, and Ireland”, in: McTurk, Rory, Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic worlds, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. 34–66.
Rooney, Catherine, “The manuscripts of the works of Gerald of Wales”, PhD thesis, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, 2005.  

My dissertation is a palaeographical study of the manuscripts of the works of Gerald of Wales (c. 1146-1223). Gerald was a churchman, a member of the court of King Henry II and a prolific author. His extensive works include historical and topographical descriptions of Ireland and Wales, theological and hagiographical studies, and several autobiographical works. Throughout his career he constantly revised these works. A hundred manuscripts containing works of Gerald survive today, and the progress of his revision of his works may be observed from the manuscript-record. I therefore devote some space to the textual history of Gerald's works in the manuscripts; however, the emphasis is on the manuscripts and therefore on what the textual history can show about them, not on the texts themselves. There is an unusually large number of manuscripts (about 20%) surviving from Gerald's lifetime, including some which are decorated and illustrated and at least one which has been described as a 'working copy'. I have studied these manuscripts closely, concentrating on finding similarities between them - particularly the appearance of the same hand in different manuscripts - which may point to a common place of production, possibly 'Gerald's scriptorium'. I have also considered the manuscript evidence for Gerald's publishing processes and the possibility of finding Gerald's autograph. I have then considered the manuscripts surviving from after Gerald's death and what they can show about the continuing tradition of his works, for example: who read them, and which were most popular; the geographical spread of the manuscript-evidence; whether different works were popular at different times, and why; the treatment of the works by later scholars, for example translation, abbreviation and excerpting. This includes evidence which I have discovered for the existence of now lost manuscripts. Finally, I have compared the manuscript-tradition of Gerald's works with that of some other twelfth-century Insular writers whose works survive in various authorial editions and/or in autograph or quasi-autograph copies. <link>
McTurk, Rory, Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic worlds, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.
Rooney, Catherine, “Gerald of Wales and the tradition of the Wonders of the East”, Quaestio Insularis 4 (2003): 82–97.
Zimmer, Stefan, “A medieval linguist: Gerald de Barri”, Études Celtiques 35 (2003): 313–350.  
[FR] Un linguiste du Moyen Age : Giraud de Barry.
L’étude cherche à évaluer la connaissance effective de la langue galloise chez Giraud de Cambrie, telle qu’elle se reflète dans ses ouvrages «Itinerarium Kambriae» et «Descriptio Kambriae» à travers la traduction, ou le commentaire de différents noms propres ou noms communs, sans exclure toute autre information pertinente fournie par l’auteur. Une attention spéciale est prêtée aux remarques «linguistiques» de Giraud sur les rapports du gallois et du grec. Les résultats de l’enquête apportent un nouvel éclairage dans le débat déjà ancien concernant le caractère gallois de Giraud.

[EN] The article investigates Gerald's actual knowledge of the Welsh language as reflected in his books 'Itinerarium Kambriae' and 'Descriptio Kambriae' by translations of and comments on various names and appellatives, as well as other relevant information provided by the author. A special paragraph studies Gerald's 'linguistic' remarks on the relationship of Welsh and Greek. The results shed new light on the long-discussed question of Gerald's 'Welshness'.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 35, 2003: <link>
Kightly, Charles, A mirror of medieval Wales: Gerald of Wales and his journey of 1188, ed. David M. Robinson, Cardiff: Cadw Welsh Historic Monuments, 1988.
Bartlett, Robert, Gerald of Wales, 1146–1232, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.
Roberts, Brynley F., Gerald of Wales, Writers of Wales, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1982.
Williams, E. A., “A bibliography of Giraldus Cambrensis, c. 1147–c. 1223”, National Library of Wales Journal 12 (1961–1962): 97–140.
Förster, Max, “Früh-mittelkymrische und früh-mittelenglische Sprüche bei Giraldus Cambrensis”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 24 (1954): 56–57.
Butler, H. E., The autobiography of Giraldus Cambrensis, London: Jonathan Cape, 1937.
Butler, H. E., “Some new pages of Giraldus Cambrensis”, Medium Aevum 4 (1935): 143–152.
Brewer, J. S., Giraldi Cambrensis opera, 8 vols, vol. 1: Invectionum libellus; Symbolum electorum, London, 1861.
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