"Alcuin has waited longer than his time for this succinct but comprehensive appreciation." Dr Mark Edwards, Church Times, 26 April 2013 "Dales' own familiarity with the history of Christianity in England is apparent throughout his book. [ - ] The biography provides a good introduction to Alcuin's letters and poetry." Nathan J. Ristuccia, Reviews in Religion and Theology Vol.20 Issue 3. July 2013 ' [...] this is a work that does Church History a valuable service in enabling a fuller appreciation of Alcuin.' Jonathan Hustler, Theology, Vol.116, No 6, November / December 2013 'This is an attempt to draw a short biography of Alcuin from his first English period (pages 19-68) with the very first diplomatic tasks and the connections with the political authorities, to the collaboration with Charlemagne also through the links with Rome, and an analysis of his heritage, both as a clergyman and as a politician (pages 127-60; 151-60 in particular are about letters and manuscripts); whereas another work (Alcuin. His Theology) is about theological and cultural perspectives. The volume ends with an historical appraisal, some notes, a bibliography and an appendix.' Medioevo Latino, XXXIV, July 2013 'The book is written by D. Dales in an easy, accessible style, while being extremely informative and scientific. It will serve as an excellent incentive to more deep study of the political and intellectual history of the early mediaeval period and will be useful additional material for those studying the history of the Catholic Church.' Anastasia Palamarchuck, Folia Petropolitana, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 2013 'There is much in this book to be commended: it is a good synthesis of many of Alcuin's works (especially his letters and some of his theological works) and of some recent scholarship. General readers and undergraduate students will find this an accessible (and very readable) introduction to Alcuin's life'. Helen Foxhall Forbes, The Catholic Historical Review, Vol.100, No.1, January 2014 "This book is accessible to the general reader who is quite unfamiliar with this period of history but it also offers a sound guide for those studying and teaching early medieval history and theology. There are detailed notes and an extensive bibliography. ... Dales carefully steers readers through Alcuin's context, what he inherited from the past, his friendships, his multiple contributions, the challenges he met and his legacy." John Sullivan, Liverpool Hope University, in Theological Book Review, Vol 25, No 1 "Douglas Dales' two books on Alcuin are well researched and well expressed, based on a wide range of scholarship, both historical and theological, and the books combine to provide important source material for scholars working on either Alcuin or his very powerful friend, Charlemagne. [ - ] There are excellent sections in both books on Alcuin's early life and problems in England, and his enforced stay in Europe. His wide ranging literary works are well discussed, as are his relationship with Charlemagne and with his fellow courtiers, and the theological implications are well covered in great depth, and the final chapter on poetry is very interesting. [ - ] the two books should serve to reinforce the important role played by Alcuin as a key theologian and significant politician at a very interesting period of European history." --John R. C. Martyn, University of Melbourne, in Journal of Religious History, Vol 38, Issue 1From the Publisher:
Douglas Dales provides a comprehensive study of the life of one of the most underrated figures of the early medieval Western Church. Alcuin left behind him a varied selection of correspondence and other documents which attest to his prominence as a statesman, theologian, poet, friend, and teacher. The author deftly deals with the primary manuscript evidence to record Alcuin's transition from a precocious schoolboy of noble lineage in York to his involvement with Charlemagne, Offa, and the papacy in Rome. Alcuin's life and career are closely followed in this definitive book, which is the first study to fully examine the full span of Alcuin's life and the lasting effect of his actions. Alcuin was a conscious heir to the rich traditions of the English Church, and his skill as a poet of prayer, as well as an educator, marks Alcuin out as a seminal in influence upon his own generation and those that came after him. This book examines the life and career of Alcuin in England and on the continent; it also considers his legacy as a churchman and a leading political figure. This book demonstrates that Alcuin's Christian cultural inheritance and historical significance is at the forefront of his life and legacy. This gives a fascinating backdrop to the subtle and nuanced elements of Alcuin's personality and relationships which the author carefully gleans from the surviving evidence. This authoritative and ground-breaking work illuminates for the reader the importance of Alcuin to the period, its literacy, imperialism, and monasticism.Douglas Dales was from 1984 to 2012 Chaplain of Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and he is now a parish priest in the diocese of Oxford. He is the author of several studies in Anglo-Saxon church history and other areas of theology, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author of 'Dunstan: Saint and Statesman'; 'Living through Dying: The Spiritual Experience of Saint Paul'; and 'Light to the Isles: Mission and Theology in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Britain'.
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