A corpus of 149 pre-Conquest documents from the archive at Abingdon Abbey, many of which are Latin records of grants of lands and privileges. Many of these do not survive as intact sheets of parchment and are recorded in successive chronicle-charters of the 12th and 13th centuries which refer to estates in the neighbouring areas of Abingdon in the 10th and early 11th centuries.
This edition of 151 royal diplomas and other documents associated with Abingdon Abbey and its estates forms a major resource for the study of Anglo-Saxon history. Part 1 contains the first 50 texts, all pre-dating Aethelwold's crucial refoundation of the house around 955. A substantial Introduction discusses the abbey's history and endowment, and considers controversial issues arising from the texts themselves. Part 2, covering the period 955-1066, will complete the edition of this important archive.Brilliantly done ... One of the treasures of this edition is the inclusion of solutions of the many vernacular charter bounds carefully preserved at the abbey into the thirteenth century ... how lucky to have dedicated and insightful scholars such as Dr Kelly, who has done so much for the British Academy's charter editions.Few have shown such enthusiasm for this arcane area as Susan Kelly ... Kelly's addition provides ample justification for the policy of editing pre-Conquest diplomas by archive; this collection of documents sheds important light on the abbey's estate strategies in the later tenth and eleventh centuries and reveals much about local charter practices in a region of considerable strategic significance.Kelly has left an enduring legacy and provided an invaluable resource for the next generation of scholars ... from her unparalleled understanding of this material, Kelly also has an important contribution to make to current historiographical debates.Susan Kelly has put the Anglo-Saxonist in her debt by her magisterial two-volume edition of the charters of Abingdon Abbey ... a superb investigation of the unique problems associated with the charters ... all in all, a study which no student of pre-Conquest history can afford to do without.The British Academy's Anglo-Saxon Charters series is further enhanced by the two volumes of S.E. Kelly (ed.), Charters of Abingdon Abbey, a meticulous edition and very full introduction well up to the editor's exacting standards.
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