Bede and the Theory of Everything (Medieval Lives) (Hardcover)

Bede and the Theory of Everything (Medieval Lives) By Michelle P. Brown Cover Image

Bede and the Theory of Everything (Medieval Lives) (Hardcover)


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An accessible biography of the venerable Bede, regarded as the father of English history.
A 2023 History Today Book of the Year

This book investigates the life and world of Bede (c. 673–735), the foremost scholar of the early Middle Ages and the “father of English history.” It examines his notable feats, including calculating the first tide tables, creating the Ceolfrith Bibles and the Lindisfarne Gospels, writing the earliest extant Old English poetry, and composing his famous Ecclesiastical History of the English People. In addition to providing an accessible overview of Bede’s life and work, Michelle P. Brown describes new discoveries regarding Bede’s handwriting, his historical research, and his previously lost Old English translation of St John’s Gospel, dictated on his deathbed.
Michelle P. Brown is professor emerita of medieval manuscript studies at the University of London and was formerly curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library. Her books include Art of the Islands.
Product Details ISBN: 9781789147889
ISBN-10: 1789147883
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: December 5th, 2023
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Medieval Lives
"As Ms. Brown ably demonstrates, for Bede there was no discrepancy between his ability to study nature and to study God. They were all part of his theory of everything."
— New York Sun

"While books about ‘The Venerable’ Bede are numerous, this author’s focus on his diverse interests offers something new. This book will serve as a good introduction to Bede and his legacy."

"Brown takes an integrated view of Bede’s life and work as a historian, scientist, scribe, poet and translator."
— History Today, ‘Books of the Year’

"An example of the handwriting of Bede, the medieval theologian revered as the father of English history, along with his 'lost' Old English translation of the St John’s Gospel . . . feature in a new book, titled Bede and the Theory of Everything."
— The Observer

"A wonderfully readable and comprehensive introduction to perhaps the greatest European intellectual of his era, a writer whose scholarly achievement was foundational for much of the thought of the Western Middle Ages. Brown succeeds in giving us a lively picture of the material surroundings of Bede's life and work as well a solid account of his thinking."
— Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

"A wonderful portrait of Bede the Venerable, his world, his works, his story and his legacy. This account of the influential “scholar-scientist” introduces Bede to a new generation of readers. Authoritative, insightful and deeply informed by her rich knowledge of the early medieval centuries, Michelle Brown is to be congratulated on this important work."
— Clare A. Lees, University of London