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In 1969 the Clarendon Press published the new edition of Bede''s classic history in Oxford Medieval Texts, edited by Bertram Colgrave and Sir Roger Mynors. Mynors''s masterly text and textual introduction replaced much of Charles Plummer''s great edition of 1896; but the historical notes did not attempt to match in scale and detail Plummer''s second volume of commentary. To fill this gap the late Professor J. M. Wallace-Hadrill devoted the last years of his life to a new commentary, one of the finest and most mature fruits of his scholarship--more succinct than Plummer, tauter, more relevant, above all drawing together and adding to the findings of a galaxy of modern scholars. Prepared for the press by Thomas Charles-Edwards, helped by Patrick Wormald and others, this book completes the new Bede, and is prefaced by a paper characteristic of Professor Wallace-Hadrill on "Bede and Plummer."
Bede was the first important historian of England. He spent most of his life from age 7 at the monastery of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow. He was known in his day for his scholarship, wisdom, and learning, for which he was later given the title "Venerable." His major work is the HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH & PEOPLE (ca. 731). Originally written in Latin, it was translated into Middle English at the order of Alfred the Great and became a classic, second only to the Bible in popularity in England. Bede is credited with the use of the B.C./A.D. system of dating. Bede was a contemporary of the BEOWULF poet. In 1899, Bede was canonizad as a saint.