Cross, crescent, and conversion: studies in memory of Richard Fletcher [ed. Simon Barton and Peter Linehan]

Portass, Robert (2010) Cross, crescent, and conversion: studies in memory of Richard Fletcher [ed. Simon Barton and Peter Linehan]. The English Historical Review, CXXV (516). pp. 1224-1226. ISSN 0013-8266

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It is a testament to the legacy of the late Richard Fletcher that a Festschrift composed in his honour should feature essays by many of the leading historians of a field that he himself had helped to establish in British academe. Indeed, such is the current strength of the academic community of anglophone hispanists on both sides of the Atlantic, that it is easy to forget that it was the pioneering work of Richard Fletcher which helped to launch Spanish medieval history in Britain as a subject deemed worthy of study, as James Campbell makes clear in his warm introductory contribution, the first of the seventeen essays which comprise this book.

After Campbell's cordial recollection of the myriad gifts of Fletcher as both scholar and person, the essays which follow are presented in a pleasing progression which more or less follows the chronological sweep of their respective contents. The results are impressive. We begin with Roger Collins and Judith McClure, whose co-authored piece sheds light on the process and progress of Augustine's Mission to Canterbury in 596. The authors demonstrate how to weave highly intelligent speculations, teased from the extant sources, into an engaging narrative in true Fletcheresque style. By the time we reach the last essay of the book, Ian Wood's piece on some of the most remarkable eighteenth- and nineteenth-century forays into the study of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, we have been transported across more than a thousand years of history into the cultural ferment of Enlightenment Europe. Although most of the essays in this Festschrift focus on matters medieval, this is a book of wide-ranging focus; but one which nevertheless retains a unity of composition by managing to reflect something of the breadth of Richard Fletcher's interests.

Keywords:Medieval History
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:28471
Deposited On:23 Aug 2017 12:11

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