Talk:Henry of Huntingdon

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contribution to ongoing political debates about ethnicity, nationality, and the justification of rule over England and Wales.

Not sure I understand what this means, nations did not yet exist, ethnicity in terms of the 11th century?

--Stbalbach 16:53, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

-'natio' is a term that does exixt by the 12th century of Henry's writing, although certainly not in modern nation-state conceptions. But my point is that Henry picks up Bede's pro-English/anti-British (welsh) agenda, and adapts it to a post-Conquest model valourising the Normans. That is, he writes a history with the Conquests as a teleological, historical inevitability. But this inter-ethnic debate (English/Welsh/Norman) is also a continual point of reference, discussion, anxiety, and ideological agenda for William of Malmesbury, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Gerald of Wales, basically _everyone_ writing history at the time. Something along those lines is what I'm trying to communicate.

--Lutefish (or, sig-less me...)

Yeah, i understand what your saying, there was a big resurgence in interest in (re)discovering Englands past after the Norman Conquest. 19th century historians (such as Stubbs) believed it was a nationalistic/ethnic reasons such as you have described here (19th century was big on viewing the middle ages as the creation of national ethnicity). There are more recent views, I wrote a quick blurb about it in English historians in the Middle Ages:

After the Norman Conquest there was an explosion of interest in English history. It has been theorized this was due in part to the native English desire to reclaim their cultural identity from the debacle of 1066. As well the new Norman rulers were interested in discovering who it was they had reigned over, which fueled demand for legends of Englands early Kings, such as Geoffrey’s King Arthur.

(this is sourced from Robert Bartletts England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings (2000) and I could probably dig up more expansion on it). I tend to like this explanation better as it speaks more to the people of the time, then to our own nationalistic interpretations, the concept of a nation did not emerge until the 14th-16th centuries and national ethnicity much later still.

--Stbalbach 04:07, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Bartlett is usually exceptionally good, but I have to say the quote/summary your provide there (and the book, generally) is disappointing. The book, I feel, at once shows of Bartlett's vast knowledge of the field, and his ability to analyse details and tease out connections brilliantly, yet still disappoints in what I feel are its rather banal conclusions. For the summary you offer, Geoffrey's Arthur doesn't hit the historiographical battlefield as an English king until the end of the 13th C; the transgressive aspect of Geoffrey's HRB is precisely the assertion of Welsh historical legitimacy and sovereignty. As far as the 'rediscovery' of the English past post-Conquest, I tend to steer away from such explanations. 1066 may have been traumatic, but was hardly sufficient to force a 'reclamation' of a cultural identity ('Englishness') that never disappeared; the question, as I see it, was how hybridity, multilingualism, and multiple ethnic identities (especially those intersecting the lines of power in State and Church) could be performed and played out. I'm happy to ditch 'nationality' if you feel (probably rightly) the term is far too overdetermined and fraught to convey the fairly straightforward sense in which I'm trying to use it, but I do think ethnicity is a key concept here.

--[User: Lutefish|Lutefish]] 08:53, 28 Feb 2005 (EST)


Does Cadwaller, late in the article, refer to Caedwalla? Pseudomonas(talk) 21:00, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Date of Birth[edit]

Point taken about the dearth of hard information about Henry's life, but it didn't stop past authors having three different guesses (c. 1088 in the intro, origin unknown, c. 1110 in 'Life', and further down a few years before Lanfranc's 1109 death). There's also a tantalising but ambiguous suggestion that he succeeded his father 'before his thirtieth birthday', his father dying in 1110 - suggesting a DoB closer to 1080. Any scholars with a resolution to this? AndyI 21:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aci20 (talkcontribs)

Year of Henry's death[edit]

I am confused. In the second paragraph, it says “…an account of the history of England from its beginnings up to the year 1154. The Historia stops after this date, the year it is assumed Henry died”; however the first paragraph says “Henry of Huntingdon (c. 1088 – c. 1157)”. If it is assumed that Henry died in 1154, why does it say his life span ended circa 1157? The article is not self-consistent CoeurDeHamster (talk) 11:42, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks for pointing this out. I have deleted the reference to 1154. Dudley Miles (talk) 15:17, 2 July 2014 (UTC)