J.J.N. McGurk

Four years after William I's conquest of England, writes J.J.N. McGurk, a Lincolnshire thegn named Hereward led a fierce resistance movement against Norman rule.

For 1,000 years before the invention of printing, writes J.J.N. McGurk, handwriting in its various European scripts was a fine art

J.J.N. McGurk describes how vanity and the ambitions of families and religious houses prompted the widespread invention of documents upon property and genealogy.

Detail of the Petrie crown named after the Irish antiquary and painter, George Petrie

Between the coming of St. Patrick and the arrival of the Normans art, literature and religion flourished in a country that had no organised central government.

J.J.N. McGurk describes how Irish art can claim its own place in the history of European civilization. Undisturbed by the troubles of the Dark Ages, Irish monks long continued to produce their splendid manuscripts.

J.J.N. McGurk describes how Gerald’s later years were filled with his excellent books on Wales and his unsuccessful struggle for a bishopric.

The son of a Norman Marcher lord and a Welsh princess, J.J.N. McGurk writes, ‘Giraldus Cambrensis’ was a brilliant recorder of British life in the twelfth century.

A European rather than merely an Englishman, John embodied the new humanism that permeated twelfth-century thought, by J.J.N. McGurk.