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80BOOK REVIEWS fact the scribal changes depended on the status of the person addressed, or on the contents, or circumstances, of a particular charter. On the other hand, there is much to learn from this book. For example, following in the steps of Chaplais and Bishop and others, Mason has broadened our perception of the corpus ofWestminster forged charters, especiaUy for the reign of Henry II; she provides helpful commentary on the legal activities ofthe monks and their use of the Exchequer court so near at hand; and she carefully brings out the fundamental importance of the private donors and benefactors to the enormous accumulation of wealth which put Westminster in the top rank of EngUsh reUgious houses. In a word, whfle not an integrated critical history ofthe abbey, as the title might lead one to assume, this book makes its mark as an exceUent set of scholarly notes for a second reading of the charters; and the charters, in turn, form the bedrock for any work on the twelfth-century foundation. Everett U. Crosby University of Virginia Histoire des Croisades. By Jean Richard. (Paris: Editions Fayard. 1996. Pp. 544. 170.00 FF.) Jean Richard, weU known for his works on the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and his Life of St. Louis, has authored yet another in this distinguished series in his Histoire des Croisades. In a period in which crusade studies are flourishing on a never-before achieved scale and in which major revisions have been made in our understanding of this fascinating and much controverted part of medieval and early modern history,we ought not to be surprised that works of synthesis of both a popular and scholarly nature are appearing in such large numbers. Where, for many years, English and American readers have enjoyed the grand narrative of Sir Steven Runciman, the great Byzantine historian, and the exceUent briefhistory by Hans Eberhard Mayer, translated from the German by John GiUingham and now in its second EngUsh edition (1988), the last decade has witnessed the publication ofJonathan RUey-Smith's The Crusades: A Short History, which has presented a vastly different view of the crusade movement, one that included not merely its pre-histroy in theWestern Mediterranean , but which carried its story down into the sixteenth and even the seventeenth centuries. Richard's Histoire, which we trust wiU soon be avaUable in EngUsh translation, also possesses a distinctive character in keeping with the particular interests of its author. Jean Richard's Histoire des Croisades is in the tradition of the Gesta Deiper Francos, an image that emerged already shortly after the first crusade in the writing of Guibert of Nogent. Richard's focus is entirely on the Crusades to the Orient in the period from 1095 to 1291. He acknowledges and even grants validity to the broader view of crusade, but makes a very deUberate decision to BOOK REVIEWS81 write a history of the crusades to the East.The result is an outstanding work, a product of a profound knowledge of the vast Uterature in the field, a deep understanding of and sensitivity for the often controversial and always difficult issues touching the histories of so many different peoples, and a meticulous attention to detaU. No one who teaches world history can afford to omit this work from his reading Ust. One final point. It is a characteristic ofaU recent histories ofthe crusades that they reflect the original research oftheir authors.That is certainly the case here. Jean Richard has a detaUed knowledge of numerous aspects of crusading history and particularly the history of the Latin East. He has been involved in discussion ofthe major historiographical issues in the field over the last generation. To read his Histoire is to share the rich reflections of a lifetime of scholarship. It is an enriching experience to read a work that not merely summarizes the work of others but reveals the originaUty of the author's own research. James M. Powell Syracuse University (Emeritus) The Reformation ofthe Twelfth Century. By GUes Constable. (NewYork: Cambridge University Press. 1996. Pp. xx, 41 1 . $64.95.) It is commonly said, whether true or not, that mathematicians and physicists do their best work when...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 80-81
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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