The Source

R.H.C. Davis (1918-1991)

Background on the edition
A new edition of the Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers was first planned by R H C Davis. At the time of his death he had carried out a prolonged, but unsuccessful, search in European libraries for the lost manuscript, and had completed a literal translation.

The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers has survived only in an incomplete form. It was edited in 1619 by Andre Duchesne from a unique, but damaged, manuscript, whose first and last folios were missing. The manuscript subsequently disappeared, probably in the fire in the Cottonian Library (1731). So the preface and concluding chapters, which may have contained information about the author, are now lost; and all that is known of William of Poitiers comes from the Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis.

The main source for this website has been The Davis and Chibnall translation the Gesta Guillelmi.1

1. Davis, R. H C & Chibnall, M., The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, (Oxford), 1998.