This collection of papers on early narratives of the crusades makes a compelling case for the inclusion of crusading sources within wider studies of medieval historiography. In their introduction, the editors argue quite rightly that medievalists in general have been reluctant to embrace such an approach (pp. 3–5). On the other hand, they contend, those specialising in the history of the crusades have tended to neglect “the generally more adventurous and theoretically pluralistic approaches adopted by many scholars of ancient and medieval history‐writing” (p. 8). Writing the Early Crusades aims to shed light on crusading narratives as historiographical texts and to encourage a more nuanced theoretical treatment of their form, content, and potential meaning. Drawing on a conference held at Liverpool in 2011, the editors have assembled a range of papers which explore “the enduring traction of the First Crusade in the twelfth century and beyond” (p. 6) and analyse the various textual strategies which medieval narrators employed when representing, reinterpreting, and recasting the experience and memory of crusading.
- medieval historiography
- textual strategies