This is the first complete edition and translation of "The Historia Anglorum" ("History of the English People") by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon (c. 1088-c.1157). The main narrative covers the history of England from the invasions of Julius Caesar down to the accession of King Henry II in 1154, and includes the only contemporary account of the entire reign of King Stephen (1135-54). In the influential circle of successive bishops of Lincoln, Henry was often at the centre of political life - a practical man whose consciousness of the world extended far beyond the limits of his archdeaconry, a visitor to France and Rome. His work is a major source for events in England and Normandy in his lifetime. Henry's pages are filled with good stories, including the first written record of Cnut and the waves, and of Henry's death from a surfeit of lampreys. The final two books consist of poems that show Henry to be one of the finest of Anglo-Latin poets. Henry's work has never before been published in its entirety. The 1879 edition in the "Rolls" series provided only a Latin text, omitted three books and other sections of the text, and failed to take account of several manuscripts.
The critical edition in the present volume shows the author's successive revisions and continuations of his text. It is offered with parallel translation and historical notes. The introduction provides a fresh appraisal of Henry's career, incorporates new discoveries about his family origins and education, and assesses his importance as a poet and historian.