Edward Edwards (1812-86), librarian, writer and utilitarian, has been described as a founder of modern librarianship. Employed to catalogue the Earl of Macclesfield's library in 1861, he came across the large illuminated manuscript of the chronicle and cartulary that comprise this work, first published in 1866. The Latin text moves chronologically from 455 and the 'Legend of Albina' through six centuries of medieval English history, finishing at 1023 and the reign of King Cnut. Edwards, as editor, displays a librarian's zeal for detail: his extensive introduction provides a thorough history of Hyde Abbey, from foundation to dissolution. In the appendix, English translations of Anglo-Saxon charters and testaments (including those of Alfred the Great and King Eadred - the only known wills of Anglo-Saxon kings) provide further insight into England in the Early Middle Ages.
The manuscript for this chronicle of Anglo-Saxon history from 455 to 1023 and cartulary of Hyde Abbey was discovered in 1861 by librarian Edward Edwards (1812-86), who had been employed to catalogue the Earl of Macclesfield's library. Published in 1866, it gives a fascinating insight into medieval England.
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