Douglas Dales, James Clarke and Co Ltd
Douglas Dales' Alcuin His Life and Legacy will be released on November 29, 2012. Surpassing all previous studies of Alcuin of York, this rigorously researched work originally ran to almost a quarter of a million words with a bibliography of 800 titles. Now edited and divided over two volumes but still retaining all its insight, this multi-disciplinary study fills a major gap in history while doing justice to the range of Alcuin’s writings by placing them in their proper context. This first volume examines the life and career of Alcuin in England and on the continent and considers his legacy as a churchman and a leading political figure.
Dealing deftly with primary manuscript evidence to record Alcuin’s transition from a precocious schoolboy of noble lineage to his involvement with Offa of Mercia, Charlemagne and the papacy in Rome, the author demonstrates his dedication to this eminent theologian. Alcuin’s letters and many of his poems reveal a person hungry for friendship and human affection: Alcuin was a born communicator, reaching out continually to those whom he valued, though not always sure whether they reciprocated his affection. This book reveals that to work closely with Alcuin’s writings for so long and on so many varied topics, and especially with his letters, prayers and poetry, is to come close to a remarkable Christian thinker and educator, who was also a person of deep spirituality, insight, determination and love.
Although concentrating on Alcuin’s time at York and his historical significance as a statesman in England and at the court of Charlemagne, Alcuin: His Life and Legacy also considers his role as Abbot of Tours, his encouragement of the reform of monasticism, and his legacy in terms of his friends and his letters.
At a time when nations, both geographical and ideological, are arguably becoming increasing defensive of their individuality, Alcuin reminds us that, ‘A truly rich nation becomes rich by accepting much from others and developing it’. This biographical account of Alcuin’s life shows that not only was this truth well observed on both sides of the Channel in the early Middle Ages, but also that the path for an individual’s development is no different.
The second volume, Alcuin: His Theology, with introduction by Dr Rowan Williams, is due for release in May 2013. The Combined works, more than any Alcuin biography before, reveals this venerated man to be a scholar, churchman and, in the Carolingian renaissance, one of the architects of Christian European culture and education.
About the Author:
Douglas Dales was educated at St Dunstan's College, London, and was a scholar of Christ Church, Oxford: he holds degrees in history and theology. He is a parish priest in eight parishes in the diocese of Oxford. He is married with three children and is the author of Dunstan (1988) and Light to the Isles (2010).
About the publisher: James Clarke and Co Ltd is a long-established British academic publisher specialising in historical and theological books and also in reference material. It has been associated with the Lutterworth Press since 1984.