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Title: A study of the books owned or used by John Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter (1327-1369)
Author: Steele, Margaret Walvoord
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis sets out to identify the books used by John Grandisson, by establishing the principal characteristics of his handwriting and the marks he used when annotating texts. Grandisson annotated not only his own books, but also the Cathedral's, and those he borrowed. He used books to educate himself and to prepare himself for his role as bishop (Chapter II). From his early books, two salient features of his personality appear: his penchant for turning to sources to find truth, which caused him to learn Hebrew; and his predilection to acquire originalia of the Church Fathers, out of which he developed an enduring admiration for Augustine. Chapter III describes Grandisson's activity in Exeter Cathedral books to make them easier to read. He added apparatus for quick-reference: indexes, tables of contents, running titles, chapter and subject headings. His paraph and paragraphus marks indicate beginnings, and his Nota signs, brackets, and excerpt marks identify sententiae. Chapter IV discusses briefly the content of Grandisson's glosses and other annotations, which reveals a wide range of interests, not only in theology and canon law, but also in history and natural science. He assembled the largest extant collection of Anselm's letters. Other interests include Virgil's poetry, Seneca's tragedies, romances of the Grail, and miracles of the Virgin. The Ordinal with Kalendar attributed to Grandisson survives only in s.xv copies which incorporate feasts introduced after Grandisson's time. Chapter V discusses the contemporary evidence (including books he used) for assessing Grandisson's activity in the production of the Ordinal for his Cathedral Church. Grandisson had a lifelong interest in the relative roles of Church and State; thus, he wrote a 'Life of Becket' (Chapter VI), drawing from many contemporary sources. No doubt his study enabled him to take a confident stand in maintaining the liberties of the Church from c. 1340 to the end of his life. Grandisson's ideal was to be a pastoral bishop. Books helped him in decision-making, in learning his vocation, in educating his clergy. They also sustained him, as man and bishop, through a fruitful career.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Books and reading Literature Mass media Performing arts Information science History