When Michael Clanchy’s book From Memory to Written Record was first published in 1979, it was the most important book on English Royal administration in the middle ages that had appeared in a general…. The second edition takes full cognizance of the extensive literature on the subject of morality and literacy, which has been one of the half dozen most discussed aspects of the medieval European world during the past two decades. Clanchy has significantly deepened and enriched his classic study. It is indispensable for not only political, legal and socialhistorians, but also for students of medieval literature and religion. From Memory to Written Record is one of those seminal works that shape the direction of the next generation of historical and social thought. This second edition will remain of the major works on the medieval world for many decades to come. Norman F. Cantor, New York University
Reviews of the first edition:
"A tour-de-force, a scholarly work which is genuinely hard to put down, and which breaks new ground in its approach." Journal of Legal History
<!--end-->"Thought-provoking and wide-ranging . . . one can assert confidently that it is one of the most exciting books on medieval English history to appear in recent years." History
"Many familiar assumptions about the medieval world will have to be reconsidered in the light of this book. It is impossible to convey its range or the variety of its implications, but it is possible to insist on its importance." History Today
"Clanchy's work will stand as a remarkable piece of scholarship and as a massive contribution to our understanding of the medieval world." Journal of Library History
From the Back Cover
The second edition of Michael Clanchy's widely-acclaimed study of the history of the written word in the Middle Ages is now, after a much lamented absence, republished in an entirely new and revised edition. The text of the original has been revised throughout to take account of the enormous amount of new research following publication of the first edition. The introduction discusses the history of literacy up to the present day; the guide to further reading brings together over 300 new titles up to 1992. In this second edition there are substantially new sections on bureaucracy, sacred books, writing materials, the art of memory, ways of reading (particularly for women), the writing of French, and the relationship of script, imagery and seals. Publication of the new edition also represents the book's first appearance in the United States in paperback.