Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Book By Bede

Writing a book about the history of the English nation would certainly be a daunting task.  Being the first to do so during a time when learning and civilization were going down the tube, would establish your spot in the annals of history writers.  Such was a fellow named Bede.

Born about the year 673 AD, he was taken as a child of seven to a newly founded monastery called Wearmouth.  He appears to have spent his entire life here and at a sister monastery called Jarrow.  He grew up reading, writing. learning, teaching, and praying. [Must have been an introvert.]  He became an expert in collecting documents of the ancient writers and acts of the church.  He wrote in Latin, and became widely known as the "expert" in Northumbrian and Church history.  He was then ask to write all this stuff into some kind of record, and it has become known as the first history of the English nation.

It was titled "The Ecclesiastical History of The English Nation".  The cover of my translated copy is shown above.  It was first published in 1910, but my copy was reprinted in 1954.  In the introduction of this edition David Knowles writes:

"In the annals of letters and learning there is no more impressive instance of the ultimate fame of work accomplished in silence, for the sake of truth, by a good man."

He died 25th of May 735 AD.  Since his death he has become known as the "Father of English History".  What good genealogist would not like to get to read one of the founding fathers.  Here it is.

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