The Later Letters of Peter of Blois

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This volume makes available a collection of previously unedited letters by the famous medieval correspondent Peter of Blois. Though Peter never attained a rank higher than archdeacon during his fifty years of service in the church, his works were widely read in the Middle Ages. The most original of his writings were his letters, and this volume contains seventy-eight letters written in the last years of Peter's life, mostly while he was Archdeacon of London during the reign of John. Unlike his earlier letters, which Peter himself edited and published, these later letters did not circulate widely. Sixty-four are printed for the first time, while others have improved readings and sometimes additional paragraphs from manuscripts previously unknown. Peter wrote vividly and fluently about contemporary events and problems, in particular the Interdict. More than half his correspondents in the collection are members of monastic orders, several being Cistercians. New light is also thrown on Peter's career, his family and friendships, and his struggles with age and death.