The Chronicle of Chronicles

Being the first attempt in England to write a Universal Chronicle traditionally attributed to one Florence of Worcester, although more modern scholars claim that it is all the work another monk of Worcester named John, who almost certainly authored a later continuation of the chronicle.

The first section of the work is largely a complilation derived from the work of others, in particular the Universal Chronicle of an Irish monk by the name of Marianus Scotus (whose record of events went down to the year 1082) to which was then added a number of references to English history derived from the work of Bede, as well as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. (Despite its plagaristic nature this early section has some value since it was partly drawn from what is now a lost version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.)

The second section is a contemporary record of events for the period from 1030 to 1117 and has some independent value as an authority whatever its authorship, but is not generally regarded as highly as the continuation from 1117 to 1141 which has almost certainly attributable to the aforemnetioned John. This later section was much used by subsequent chroniclers such as Simeon of Durham as a basis for their own work.

Further extensions were later made; it appears to have been a particular concern of the monks of St. Edmundsbury, who eventually took the chroncile down to 1295.


SOURCES

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).

The Catholic Encyclopedia at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

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