Wikipedia:Peer review/Alexander of Lincoln/archive1

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Alexander of Lincoln[edit]

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This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I'd like to take this to FAC, and would appreciate comments on the prose, comprehensiveness, and how easy it is to understand for the non-medievalist. Any other concerns would of course be welcome!

Thanks, Ealdgyth - Talk 23:45, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Brianboulton comments:

  • Lead
    • "He was the nephew of Roger of Salisbury, the Bishop of Salisbury..." Is "the" necessary? Also, capitalisation of "Bishop" here but not elsewhere.
      • the "the" is there to separate the two links so they don't run to gether and get Tony mad at me. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Laon can be linked (assuming this is the right place). First mention of "diocese" could also be linked
    • Link "episcopate". Not everyone will be familiar with the term.
    • "He spent much of the late 1140s at Rome, attending the papal court, but died in England in early 1138." Hmm, clever chap - but I think 1138 is wrong!
    • Final lead sentence too long, rambling. Needs splitting, also fixing slightly dodgy grammar towards the end.
  • Early life
    • "Alexander's mother's name is known, which was Ada,..." Clumsy, try "Alexander's mother's name, Ada, is known,...etc"
    • "...perhaps was Roger's son" - could be "...perhaps was his son" to avoid over-repetition of Roger's name.
    • "Chancellor" capitalised here but not in lead. We also have "Bishop" (capitalised) of London.
    • "Martin Brett feels that Alexander likely served as one [a royal chaplain] early in his career." Presumably Brett has reasons/evidence for thinking this. Would it not be better to reword, to make it seem less like some sort of vague hunch?
      • Weirdly, Brett does NOT say. Just a bald statement. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • "entered the administration" - explain what this means: "taken a job in the government" or some such?
      • Well, it's not really a "government" ... per se. Reworded a bit. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • "only attests" - we are not in the present tense here, so "attested"
  • Bishop
    • "He owned his appointment..." - "owned" → "owed"?
    • Successive sentences begin "He also...", and the next begins "Alexander also..." Try to vary.
    • Third paragraph: the first sentence is a bit repetitive of what we've just read in "Early life", about his not holding a government position, unlike Nigel etc. I suggest you delete the first sentence of this para, then begin: "Although he held no government office..."
      • Oh, no, the contrast here is that even after his appointment as bishop, he never held office in the royal household/government like Nigel and Roger did while they were bishops. Clarified. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • "it is known that he travelled to Rome shortly after the end of the council, as he travelled with the legate back to Rome." This seems unduly cumbersome; suggest: "it is known that he travelled back to Rome with the legate, shortly after the end of the council."
    • "to seek out King Henry to settle the dispute." Again, a bit unpolished. You could say "to seek King Henry's help in settling the dispute."
  • Reign of Stephen
    • I have a few problems with the first two paragraphs. Although providing necessary background the first para is in my view perhaps twice as long as needs to be - we only need the gist. Secodly, I am perplexed by the second paragraph. You need to say why 17 bishops attending the Council of Westminster implies that Alexander was there; how many bishops were there in 1138? Secondly, the sentence: "In early 1139, Stephen possibly named William d'Aubigny as Earl of Lincoln, which may have been an attempt to limit Alexander's influence in Lincolnshire." Are the "possibly" and the "may have been" two separate uncertainties, e.g. Stephen may or may not have named William d'Aubigny as Earl of Lincoln and his motive may or may not have been to undermine Alexander? Or is it one uncertainty: Stephen named d'Aubigny as Earl of Lincoln and it's only his motive which is uncertain?
      • LOLOLOL... sorry. I'm getting raked over the coals for not enough background in my current FAC and you're saying here I have too much? Can I quote you on this if I cut it back and I get tasked to add more later? Ealdgyth - Talk 22:03, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Okay, only 17 bishops in England, so if 17 went, everyone went. I've clarified by adding an explanatory note for the naming earl and then adding "which if it occurred..." before the "may have been an attempt".. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • "The king ordered Roger to come to court and explain what happened as well as surrender custody of the bishop's castles, which Roger refused to do." Needs to be stated more clearly, e.g. "The king ordered Roger to come to court to explain what had happened, and also required him to surrender custody of his castles, all of which Roger refused to do."
    • "Stephen then ordered Roger and his two nephews to be arrested, which Roger and Alexander were, with Nigel managing to escape arrest." Not elegant, suggest: "Stephen then ordered the arrest of Roger and his two nephews; Roger and Alexander were detained, but Nigel evaded capture."
    • "Another possible reason was given..." The first reason given is "treason"; doesn't the second reason amount to the same?
      • No. Clarified that the first reason they were arrested is the refusal to surrender the castles, the second is something different. Don't worry if you're confused, the chronicler's were confused, which makes the whole episode ... confusing.Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • "so Stephen is accused..." Why sudden present tense?
      • No clue what happened there, I've clarified to "... so Stephen threatened to starve Alexnader and Roger until the castles surrendered..." which is correct. I wonder if a vandalism revert muddled something? Ealdgyth - Talk 02:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Henry of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester and Stephen's brother and one of the king's main supporters,..." This mkes one person sound like four. Suggest: "Stephen's brother Henry of Blois, who was bishop of Winchester and one of the king's main supporters,..."
    • Delete "just" from "just recently"
    • "...which were against canon law." → "...actions which were against canon law."
    • What is a "legatine council"?
    • "they'd" - non-encyclopedic contraction
    • "But when Matilda arrived in London..." Sentence does not need a "but" start.
  • Patronage
    • Again we have "He also..." followed by "Alexander also..."
    • Master Guido: was he at all notable? Is so, a possible redlink. If not - why mention him?
    • "Alexander was nicknamed "the Magnificent",[45] for his ostentatious and luxurious lifestyle." This sentence merely replicates the wording in the lead. Why has there been no discussion of this aspect of his life in the article?
      • Mainly because none of my sources discuss it, except for that information. Smith says "Henry of Huntingdon records that Alexander was called by contemporaries ‘the Magnificent’ on account of his lavishness and luxury (such behaviour calling down upon the bishop of Lincoln the expected criticism from Bernard of Clairvaux), and although he later chides his former patron with having spent well beyond his means, yet Henry clearly retains for the bishop a fondness and appreciation of many aspects of his character." Getting Bernard to denounce you wasn't much at this time period, I think everyone who came to Bernard's attention got denounced, pretty much. There is no full length biography of Alexander, unlike his uncle Roger, so there are some aspects of his character that just are spottily treated in the secondary literature. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:03, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Death: no issues, but I have lightly copyedited the opening sentence to get rid of some repetition.
  • Alt text is required for all images

Thats all folks Brianboulton (talk) 21:57, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Brian, I'll get to these in the next few days... (I've been being good and doing PRs on sourcing!). Ealdgyth - Talk 22:03, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
...and much appreciated that is, too. Brianboulton (talk) 00:08, 16 January 2010 (UTC)