He taught at the University of Glasgow, and is well known for his books, such as From Memory to Written Record (1979; revised and expanded editions 1993 and 2013: a study of the triumph of literacy in medieval England), England and its Rulers 1066-1272 (1983; revised editions 1998 and 2006) and Abelard: A Medieval Life (1997). His interests are primarily in law and government in the 12th and 13th centuries. He is Patron of the London Medieval Society.
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