excellent contribution on Culture and Ethnicity in his discussion of the Viking Age (pp. 194-202) is a case-study in common sense which also provides a rare example of an approach yielding an integrated study of place-names, archaeological evidence and the historical significance of patronage as revealed in the sculpture of the region. Finally, this magnificently presented book is worth £ 25 just for its colour plates of Northumbrian landscape. Here the reader is presented not with flat pictures of fields and hedgerows but with evocative images which lead the mind into a three-dimensional medieval world of mountain, field and dale. ALFRED P. SMYTH University of Kent L'IRLANDE AU MOYEN AGE: GIRAUD DE BARRI ET LA TOPOGRAPHIA HIBERNICA (1188). By Jeanne-Marie Boivin. Nouvelle Bibliotheque du Moyen Age, 18; Librairie Honore Champion, Paris, 1993. Pp. 414. FF.338. The Topographia Hibernica was the first major prose work composed by Gerald of Wales, and it broke new ground as the first book ever written about Ireland by an outsider. Moreover, to judge by its manuscript transmission, it was a literary success-even if some readers, such as William de Montibus at Lincoln, threw up their hands in horror at its descriptions of excessively intimate encounters between humans and animals! Gerald, too, held the work in high esteem, revising and expanding it almost until the end of his life, with the result that the fourth and final recension of c. 1220 is over twice as long as the first recension of 1188. Modern commentators have, however, been unimpressed by the changes made to the original version of the text. Thus, according to J. F. Dimock in the preface to his Rolls Series edition of 1867, the additions, which included further moralizing passages as well as the multiplication of quotations from earlier writers, were 'wearisome beyond measure to the reader' and 'have as much to do with Ireland or its people as with the moon and the man in it'. This attitude helps to explain the absence hitherto of a translation of the final, complete, recension: whereas it has been the practice to translate the latest versions of Gerald's celebrated works on Wales, the Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae, only the first recension of the Topographia is available in a reliable modern translation (by J. J. O'Meara). Fortunately, this situation has now been rectified by Jeanne-Marie Boivin in her new book, which provides a translation of Dimock's edition of the final recension of the Topographia and adds appreciably to our understanding of it both in a substantial introduction and in numerous notes. As Dr Boivin convincingly argues, to condemn the material added to the first recension as irrelevant is misconceived: further details were in fact introduced about Ireland, and even the additional material not concerned directly with Irish matters contains much that is valuable, reflecting Gerald's interest in topics as diverse as animals, music, and theology. The introduction to L'Irlande au moyen age occupies almost 150 pages and is divided into three parts. The first two deal, respectively, with Gerald's life and writings
This text was generated automatically from the scanned page and has not been checked. Typical character accuracy is in excess of 99%, but this leaves one error per 100 characters.
The National Library of Wales has created and published this digital version of the journal under a licence granted by the publisher. The material it contains may be used for all purposes while respecting the moral rights of the creators.