AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERISTY
RESEARCH PAPER The Legacy of Sir Richard W. Southern
STACY MITCH History Department
Historiography, RC 575 17 August 2008
The gritty industrial towns of North England are not known for producing refined academics. But Newcastle-upon-Tyne can boast of not only a notable academic but a Knight who quietly, yet boldly, revolutionized medieval studies. This favorite son, Sir Richard W. Southern, was born to a lower-middle class family early in the year 1912.1 The second-born of a timber merchant, he attended the local grammar schools and showed promise. In 1929, he benefited from the Balliol College reforms of the late 1800s that aimed at recruiting the academically gifted.2 He graduated first class, earned a research fellowship, and soon thereafter began a long and illustrious career as tutor, professor, and president within the Oxford college system. Other than the five years he spent serving as an army commander during World War II, Southern’s life and career revolved around the Oxford establishment. So what distinguishes Southern from the many other talented scholars who have graced the halls of Oxford? This is the question the present essay intends to answer. Specifically, it seeks to demonstrate the legacy of Sir Richard Southern as a proponent of humanistic historical methods which have resulted in substantial contributions to medieval studies.3 Furthermore, these methods continue slowly to transform historiography. R.W. Southern is not only rightly
. Alexander Murray, “Richard William Southern: 1912-2001,” Proceedings of the British Academy 120 (2003): 413. 2. William Palmer, “Sir Richard Southern Looks Back: A Portrait of the Medievalist as a Young Man.” Virginia Quarterly Review 74, no. 1 (Winter 1998) http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apus.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=103405&site=ehost-live (accessed 19 May 2008).
3. The term ‘humanist’ is to be understood as Southern defined it: a respect for human potential and aspiring to reach it. It should not be interpreted as a literary form of humanism or a romantic view of humanity.
remembered as one of the world’s best medievalists, but as an historian whose methods and contributions continue to influence the way history is done. R. W. Southern first earned the right to be heard as a world class historian with the publication of his best-selling The Making of the Middle Ages in 1953. This work catapulted Southern’s career and placed him in a league with the likes of Frederick D. Maitland and Marc Bloch.4 According to Norman Cantor, a significant medievalist in his own right and a former student of Southern, “[The Making of the Middle Ages] is arguably, even more than Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society and Ernst Robert Curtius’s European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, the single most widely read and influential book written on the Middle Ages in the twentieth century.”5 Cantor is not alone in his praise for Southern or his work. His claims are substantiated by the frequent inclusion of The Making of the Middle Ages on university required reading lists along with its status as a best-seller that has enjoyed 30 continuous printings.6 Curiously, Southern’s inaugural work was initially received with mixed reviews. It is in the early criticism of Southern’s work that his status as a historiographical innovator is first brought to our attention. Sydney Painter, who reviewed The Making of the Middle Ages for the American Historical Review shortly after its publication, claimed that the title of the book was “misleading.”7 He went on to say, “Instead of being a broad, general account of the development of medieval ideas and institutions, it is a series of essays on certain phases of the subject.”8
4. “The best book on Medieval history by an Englishman since Maitland.” Norman Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages (New York: Quill, 1991): 348
5. Ibid., 338. 6. Palmer, “Sir Richard Southern Looks Back: A Portrait of the Medievalist as a Young Man.”
7. Sidney Painter, review of The Making of the Middle Ages, by Richard W. Southern. The American Historical Review 59, no. 2 (January 1954): 356.
Painter correctly pointed out the distinguishing hallmarks of Southern’s work, namely his neglect of institutional history in preference for a personal, intellectual, and religious focus; however the significance and benefits of Southern’s methods eluded him. Over the course of the following fifty years, Southern has been both vindicated and imitated. Southern wrote and spoke often about the genesis of history at Oxford and it is in these reflections, along with clues culled from his reviews of other historian’s work, which we find his philosophy about history and historiography—the basis from which the success of The Making of the Middle Ages and his other works sprung. He repeatedly recounts that history at Oxford, through the 1920s, was “past politics.”9 Many notable historians, not the least of which were Maitland, William Stubbs, and Southern’s own mentor, Maurice Powicke, created this focus to legitimize history as a rigorous and worthwhile topic for academic study.10 Under their guidance, history gained prominence, respectability, and provided a paradigm for understanding the ordering of human history under the mantle of the universal theme of liberty through the institutions of man.11 Historians focused their efforts on tracing the theme of freedom through the myopic lens of Constitutional history and public affairs, and on making it a practical source of wisdom about the future and the training ground for statesmen. As a student under this system, Southern was dissatisfied and opined, “They left out that which is most interesting in the past in order to concentrate on that which was practically and
9. Richard Southern, “Marjorie Reeves as an Historian,” in Prophecy and Millenarianism: Essays in Honour of Marjorie Reeves, ed. Ann Williams, (Essex: Longman, 1980), 3. He is quoting Regius Professor H.W. C. Davis who said, “History is past politics.”
10. Richard Southern, “The Shape and Substance of Academic History,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, ed. R.J. Bartlett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 91.
11. Richard Southern, “The Truth about the Past,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, ed. R.J. Bartlett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 123-126.
academically most serviceable.”12 Southern was not alone in his dissatisfaction and the system began to fall apart. As the institutional focus began to disintegrate in the 1930s the problem became replacing it with a more suitable means of organization and meaning. According to Southern, the most popular, but insufficient, responses were ‘thematic linear histories’ like those produced by Marx.13 These histories concentrated on tracing a specific cause or mover of historical events, such as greed. Southern believed that they remain ultimately “untrue to the past”14 because the study of history is approached looking for a particular predetermined cause which handicaps the historian from discovering or understanding history. These are also not very different from the traditional institutional type of history they purport to replace. While Southern was sympathetic towards his predecessors and believed that the work they did was appropriate to the time in which they found themselves, he also thought that something else was needed for the present and future of historical studies.15 From his days as a student at Oxford until almost the end of his life, he wrestled with the best way to do history. As late as 1996 he wrote, “The question for the future of historical studies seems to be this: does this institutional approach still satisfy us; and if not, what is to be put in its place?”16 The answer,
12. Southern, “The Shape and Substance of Academic History,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, 99.
13. Richard Southern, “The Truth about the Past,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, 129. It is interesting that Southern pointed out Marxist histories as being insufficient. As a young man he had attended Marxist meetings and was a friend and colleague of Christopher Hill. Ultimately, he detected the problems in this brand of history as he points out in this paper given in 1988.
14. Ibid. 15. Richard Southern, “Marjorie Reeves as an Historian,” 3.
16. Richard Southern, Response to Review of Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume1, Foundations, by David d’Avray. Reviews in History (November 1996).
according to Southern, was delivered most succinctly in a 1988 address to the St. John’s College historical society.17 He called it ‘situational history’:18 The whole aim is to bring the surviving material of every kind to bear on understanding the minds, imaginations, world-views, aspirations of individuals and groups in a single limited period. … In contrast to the historical movement of a century ago, the emerging aim is breadth of understanding of the minds and imagination of a few, rather than the tracing of a single purpose through a long period of time to the present.19 In situational history, a fundamental shift in focus takes place. No longer are grand organizing structures or institutions the primary focus of investigation, but rather understanding the multifaceted aspects of the minds and wills of individuals and considering their entire environment in all of its complexities and influences. Furthermore, this way of studying history seeks to understand the past in its original context, without a concern for similarities with the present.20 Situational history does not attempt to trace themes but rather to understand particular people and their circumstances. More traditionally minded historians may critique Southern’s philosophy of historiography by attacking his ideas about the purpose of history. Isn’t connecting the past with the present and future the purpose for which we do history? Is studying history for itself a sufficient justification for the expenditure of the historian’s talent and effort? Southern argued that the crippling force behind the delusion with institutional history was the questioning of whether or not historians were simply projecting the current circumstances and needs of the
17. Southern, “The Truth about the Past,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid., 132.
world onto the situations of the past.21 These questions continued long after Southern initially perceived them in the early 1930s and continue to this day. According to Southern, situational history provided a sufficient answer to questions of motives, provided a valuable contribution to humanity, and sufficient justification for the historian’s effort. Southern believed that history did indeed have great value. Studying history in its own context and without concern for its similarities with the present, has untapped worth. Historians after 1850 have concerned themselves with justifying the development and superiority of the present by working to connect the past with the present and future.22 According to Southern, this presumption has cost us a more authentic understanding of the past. The biggest weakness of historical studies “after 1850 was its tendency to think of the present as a climax, with man in command of his destiny. Nothing has done more to impoverish humanity than this absurd delusion of self-sufficiency, which ultimately leads to despair as its falsity come to be recognized.”23 Consequently, the real lessons of history have been lost to us. These lessons are not how we are the same as those who have gone before us but rather appropriating the differences of value. The valuable lessons of the past are how: They differ from us in their sense of eternity, their wealth of images and symbols, their recognition of their powerlessness … But in understanding what we have lost, we take a first step towards our own regeneration.…in learning to understand the beliefs and images of the past…we shall at least come to recognize our poverty in contrast to the wealth of the past.…The mere thought of what we have lost is a challenge to explain, perhaps to replace, the defects of the present. We may come to look on the past as a treasury of unused wealth which is open to investigation, perhaps appropriation without any losers.24
21. Ibid., 128. 22. Ibid., 132. 23. Ibid., 133. 24. Ibid.
The lessons of history are not primarily about how to structure society but rather, how others have experienced humanity and what we can learn from them about being human. The modern perspective of history has been warped through pride in our sense of having developed to a position of superiority over those of the past. In Southern’s estimation, history is about the people of the past and the lesson is how to be more fully human. Throughout his long career, even before he articulated these beliefs about history in the form of academic papers, Southern practiced and admired, in peer reviews, situational history. He acknowledged, yet consciously overlooked the few technical errors in Winston Churchill’s, A History of the English Speaking Peoples, and instead lavished praise because “we are in the presence of one experienced in the camps and courts, interpreting to us the minds of men for whom the life of camps and courts was the daily experience. It is for this reason that there is probably no better portrait-gallery of mediaeval kings.”25 Churchill earned Southern’s praise because he explained to us the emotions, motivations, and passions of men and in doing so, brought to life the truly valuable deposits of history. Peter Brown’s, Augustine of Hippo, received a glowing review by Southern because “[The book] is not so much an account of Augustine’s thoughts as an account of the impulses that moved him to think as he did.”26 He continues to praise Brown for “this connection between the external events and the inner world of Augustine’s thought is something Mr. Brown never obtrudes, and never forgets.”27 The
25. Richard W. Southern, review of A History of the English Speaking Peoples: Volume 1, The Birth of Britain, by Winston S. Churchill, The Economist (28 April 1956): 3.
26. Richard W. Southern, Review of Augustine of Hippo, by Peter Brown, The New Statesman (22 September 1967): 360.
27. Ibid., 361.
dialectic of environment, motivations, and actions fascinated Southern and he praised it when he observed it in Brown’s work. But Jacques Le Goff, with whom some have mistakenly compared Southern, received a revision of his thesis when Southern critiqued La Naissance du Purgatoire.28 Le Goff used a “structural correspondence between the system of thought and contemporary society”29 to explain the historical development of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory but should have looked “for the social pressures or needs.”30 These were the very influences Southern praised Brown for never forgetting. Perhaps aware of the comparisons between himself and Le Goff, Southern classifies his own historical interpretation of purgatory as ‘functional’ in comparison to Le Goff’s ‘structural’ approach.31 This distinction recalls Southern’s belief in the inherent problems of imposing fixed ideas, such as structural models, upon history. While Southern’s philosophy about history and historiography must be gleaned from a few academic papers and reviews, examples abound of his ideas put into practice. From these we can see how his perspective on historiographical method worked itself out in the concrete. From his choice of subject matter to his handling of primary sources, his practice of history, better than any lecture or paper, informs us how he believed history should be done. Eloquent prose coupled with a deep understanding of human nature are the hallmarks of his history writing. Southern addressed his fellow historians and said, “The first duty of a
28. Alain Boureau, “Richard Southern: A Landscape for a Portrait,” Past and Present 165 (November 1999): 228. The comparison between Le Goff and Southern is one made by those who observe the similarities in subject matter. Both historians have done extensive work on the connections between thought and its social context. However, Le Goff utilizes the systematizing structure of mentalities to help him explain these interactions while Southern refuses to establish general rules for individual behavior.
29. Richard W. Southern, review of La Naissance du Purgatoire, by Jacques Le Goff, Times Literary Supplement (18 June 1982): 652.
30. Ibid. 31. Ibid.
historian is to produce works of art. By this I do not mean works that are finely written, but works that are emotionally and intellectually satisfying…and portray people…within the framework of their circumstances and character.”32 Southern was an expert at following his own advice. The introduction to The Making of the Middle Ages exemplifies his refined literary sense and intellectual penetration. He wrote, “The significant events are often the obscure ones, and the significant utterances are often those of men withdrawn from the world and speaking to a very few.”33 Observations such as these reveal not only Southern’s talent as a writer and historian, but also his personal beliefs about humanity and history. Southern’s research tended to focus on the often neglected, obscure, or difficult subjects of medieval history. Certainly he wrote about the famous personalities: Peter of Blois, Abelard and Heloise, the Venerable Bede, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Saint Anselm of Canterbury, all received his attention. But in these character studies he delights in discovering the backdrop to the personality and the environment and passions that motivated their actions. The results are comparable to what Norman Cantor remarked on Southern’s treatment of Robert Grosseteste: “a radical break from all previous accounts.”34 However, it is often easier to find an obscure personality in his books than the famous. He delights in bringing to life persons lost to memory amidst dusty archive shelves and presenting the particulars of their situations to communicate historical realities. An account of the obscure Aelard of Rievalaulx illustrates for readers the importance of friendship in religious life.35 Master Everard of Ypres shares the pressure of retired
32. Richard W. Southern, “Aspects of the European Tradition of Historical Writing 1: The Classical Tradition from Einhard to Geoffrey of Monmouth,” in History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern, ed. R.J. Bartlett, (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 12.
33. Richard Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages (London: Yale University Press, 1953), 13. 34. Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages, 352. 35. Richard W. Southern, Medieval Humanism and Other Studies (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970): 35.
scholastics to maintain the impression of orthodoxy.36 A nameless serf of Marmoutier showed the difficulties of inheritance intrinsic to the feudal system.37 Everywhere in Southern’s writing attention is paid to the details of individuals’ lives and how these details, when pieced together, provide us with the shape of history. It is this penchant for minutiae that reveals his academic astuteness and confidence. Southern’s academic courage was applied to not only his study of personalities but also to a “willingness to tackle large, essential issues”38 and provide “clear, strong and fresh perceptions of the underlying structures.”39 Southern had a honed ability to synthesize what he learned from the particulars of individual’s lives and apply these lessons to illuminate our understanding of historical paradigms. This was done most notably in his study of the schoolmen of the twelfth century. Here he carefully observed the maligned scholastics and promoted their cause as the authentic and original ‘scientific’ humanists. According to Southern, they were not stiff and stymied men preoccupied with hair splitting logic but creative souls who relished in the inestimable possibilities of human potential.40 Detailed study of the Scholastic’s provided Southern with the ability to comprehend both their particular contributions and apply their overarching operating principles. The most important, according to Southern, was to promote the humanity of Christ and the individual’s ability to live in relationship with Him. Making this point in a grand synthesis and with his poignant style, he writes in Medieval Humanism, “The greatest
36. Richard W. Southern, Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume 1, Foundations (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997): 174.
37. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages, 102. 38. Robert Bartlett, “Sir Richard Southern (b.1912),” Medieval History 2, no. 1 (1992): 130. 39. Ibid., 130.
40. Southern developed this thesis over the course of his career and it is contained in its beginning stages in The Making of the Middle Ages (1953). He developed it more fully for Medieval Humanism (1970). It is in its most mature form in Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe, Volume 1: Foundations. (1995).
triumph of medieval humanism was to make God seem human…the universe itself friendly, familiar and intelligible.”41 To further bolster his position on the Scholastics, Southern challenged the academic guild by attempting to prove that the long held view of a unique renaissance at the School of Chartres was a misunderstanding of the sources promulgated by generations of historian’s unquestioning acceptance of this theory.42 One might argue that his fight over the School of Chartres was an isolated clash with the academic establishment. However, his entire career was one of a quiet, respectful, thoroughly scholarly, yet revolutionary pushing of the boundaries of our understanding of the Middle Ages through his humanistic perspective. His positions were widely accepted because his insights were based upon good instinct and unquestionable historiographical rigor. Southern knew well the labor and skill required to produce good history writing and did not shirk its demands. The caliber of his writing testifies to his keen friendship with meticulous, exacting scholarship. It is the seriousness with which he conducted his own research that earned him the respect of his fellow historians. His assessments of other’s efforts testify to the value he placed upon accurate work. Reginald Lennard’s work received the praise of Southern because Lennard was honest about the problems of his subject, handled his sources carefully and “has no itch for generalisation.”43 Southern operates from this same basis to critique the thesis of A.J. McDonald because he had an “overanxious desire for completeness, and out-ran the evidence…
41. Southern, Medieval Humanism and Other Studies, 37.
42. Southern, Medieval Humanism and Other Studies, 29-60 and Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume 1: Foundations, 58-101.
43. Richard W. Southern, review of Rural England 1086-1135: A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions, by Reginald Lennard, The Economist (5 September 1959): 726.
We must be content with rather less than the whole truth.”44 He is comfortable with the unknown and respects an honest acknowledgement of limited historical knowledge and much prefers it to a careless leap to conclusions built upon insufficient foundations. This approach is honest, trustworthy, builds confidence, and earns the respect of readers. Elsewhere, Southern spells out what he believes is essential to doing good research: orderliness, perseverance, and the ability to work with the details while maintaining the whole in mind.45 On one occasion he cautioned, “The attention to the lowliest tasks of scholarship will never have any news-value, but without this attention there can be no intellectual progress.”46 So while Southern is often praised for his vanguard history writing, it was not accomplished by slipshod generalizations or sensationalist theories. He admired those who worked hard at writing history and he expected nothing less from himself. One historian remarked in observation of Southern’s work, “The discovery, identification and publication of unedited sources form a constant in his work, and the results, seen as a whole are impressive.” 47 It would be utterly impossible for an historian to do the detailed work the likes of Southern without a respect for the sources and an aptitude for their interpretation. All of this required the characteristics which he enumerated as the necessity of good scholarship. He practiced what he preached. And in the practicing he produced important works on the Middle Ages that have influenced a younger generation of scholars to imitate his methods and focus. “What are now the
44. Richard W. Southern, “The Canterbury Forgeries.” The English Historical Review 70, no. 287 (April 1958): 194.
45. Richard W. Southern, “A Benedictine Library in a Disordered World,” The Downside Review 94 (July 1976): 175.
46. Ibid. 47. Alain Boureau, “Richard Southern: A Landscape for a Portrait,” 227.
unblinking postulates of textbooks were in 1950 considered radical and suspiciously outlandish. One book principally changed all that…The Making of the Middle Ages”48 wrote Norman Cantor to explain the importance of Southern’s first book. In fact, he says that Southern’s “influence was enormous by the intellectual impact of his work.”49 Southern followed up his first success, not by churning out book after book, or even by starting his own School as he was urged to do, but by continuing his careful teaching, research, and measured production of work of consistently high caliber.50 While it did not earn him the fame that starting a School would have, the results of his work have earned him the respect of his colleagues, the admiration of thousands of readers and the imitation of his methods by fellow historians. In fact, there is now a large number of historians who have conducted their work in imitation of Southern’s humanist model to great effect. Most famously perhaps is Peter Brown for whom Southern gave a review of praise already discussed. Also Maurice Keen, Southern’s own student, recently retired from Balliol, has produced notable works on chivalry in the Middle Ages with a personalist focus. Robert Bartlett, medievalist at St. Andrew’s humbly writes of Southern’s attributes: “I do my best to aim at such qualities but would not compare myself with him.”51 Robert W. Hanning, Norman Cantor, Benedicta Ward, and the list of notable historians could go on and on. These famous men and women, along with the army of students who never achieve notoriety, strive to imitate Southern because his historical achievements are not only impressive but beautiful and moving.
48. Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages, 338. 49. Ibid., 359.
50. Ibid., 349. Norman Cantor is particularly severe on Southern on this point. He believes very strongly that Southern should have begun his own School, it was cowardice that kept him from doing so, and that medieval studies would be much advanced if he had.
51. Robert Bartlett, e-mail message to author, July 12, 2008.
Southern learned well the lessons of the Scholastics he so eloquently articulated. He imitated them. However, the success of this imitation and Southern’s ability to appropriate the lessons of the Scholastics, is attributable to their common perspective on humanity. This perception was informed by their shared Christian beliefs, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”52 The Scholastics’ work reflected their beliefs in both the fallen nature of men and their incredible dignity as redeemed children of God. They understood the limitations of men but also celebrated their potential and beauty in the sight of God. These same qualities Southern also revealed in his scholarship. He understood the temptations, weaknesses and messiness of humanity, that passion sometimes informs the intellect despite the evidence. He also respected the ability of all men, great and small, without distinction, to make contributions to the movements of history. He respected that Divine Providence is the ultimate yet unpredictable factor in human history. All of this formed a philosophy of history that believed it was not simple, not predictable, and not reducible to any one system. Rather, systematizing is an oversimplification of the nature of humanity. People are uncontrollable and multifaceted. Ironically, the Scholastics, who tried to systematize everything, knew that it was impossible to systematize humanity. Southern, their student learned the lesson well. Moreover, the lives and achievements of the people of the past are valuable in and of themselves, and for the lessons they can teach us about humanity. The deposits of history are not to be interpreted as means to a historically developed end, but rather, persons of intrinsic value whose lives are of value to history.
52. Matthew 12:34
R.W. Southern, while a part of the academic establishment, and with respect and deference to the hard earned academic inheritance that he received from the likes of Maitland, Stubbs and Powicke, ultimately worked to change how history was done. His efforts, evidenced in his papers and publications, display the labors of one who wished to see historical studies emphasize the personal and the human. Furthermore, in order to understand the lessons of history, namely, the wisdom that we can learn from those who came before us, we must understand the interplay between the mind, environment, and actions of those who made history. Ultimately, history is about human beings and it is best understood from a personal vantage point. This is how Sir Richard, knighted in 1979, wrote history, spoke about history and critiqued his fellow historians. He has influenced countless modern historians and will continue to make his mark in academic circles as his ideas are gradually and more thoroughly appropriated. This is the legacy of Sir Richard W. Southern.
Bibliography Bartlett, Robert, ed. History and Historians: Selected Papers of R.W. Southern. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. [work containing the oft cited papers of R.W. Southern] ———“Sir Richard Southern (b.1912).” Medieval History 2, no. 1 (1992): 130-133. [synopsis of the style of R.W. Southern] Boureau, Alain. “Richard Southern: A Landscape for a Portrait.” Past and Present 165 (November 1999): 218-229. [synopsis of the style of R.W. Southern] Cantor, Norman. Inventing the Middle Ages. New York: Quill, 1991. [the impression of student and medievalist of the importance of R.W. Southern] Charanis, Peter. Review of The Making of the Middle Ages, by Richard W. Southern. Speculum 29, no. 4 (October 1954): 819-820. [early review that added depth to understanding of historian’s first perceptions] D’Avray, David. Review of Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume 1, Foundations, by Richard W. Southern. Reviews in History (November 1996) http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/paper/southern.html (accessed 21 May 2008). [contains synopsis of author’s ideas of contribution and style of R.W. Southern] Lewis, Paul. “Richard Southern Dies at 88: Historian of the Middle Ages.” New York Times, 16 February 2001, A17. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=aph&AN=28922243&site=ehost-live (accessed 19 May 2008) [general biographical information] Martin, John Jeffries. “Obscure, Significant Events: R.W. Southern and the Meaning of Scholarship.” Rethinking History 10, no. 2 (June 2006): 297-305. [influence of Southern on one scholar] Murray, Alexander. “Richard William Southern: 1912-2001.” Proceedings of the British Academy 120 (2003): 413-442. [thorough biographical article] Painter, Sidney. Review of The Making of the Middle Ages, by Richard W. Southern. The American Historical Review 59, no. 2 (January 1954): 356-357. [mixed review of Southern’s first book] Palmer, William. “Sir Richard Southern Looks Back: A Portrait of the Medievalist as a Young Man.” Virginia Quarterly Review 74, no. 1 (Winter 1998): 18. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apus.edu/login.aspx? direct=true&db=aph&AN=103405&site=ehost-live (accessed 19 May 2008). [biographical information]
Southern, Sir Richard W. “A Benedictine Library in a Disordered World.” The Downside Review 94 (July 1976): 163-77. [sample of his use of particulars to understand historical significance and application] ———“The Canterbury Forgeries.” The English Historical Review 70, no. 287 (April 1958): 193-226. [sample of work on controversial subject and critique of fellow historians] ———“The Changing Role of Universities in Medieval Europe.” Historical Research 60, no. 142 (1987): 134-146. [sample of work] ———“A Commemoration Sermon on William Laud.” in The Beauty of Holiness: An Introduction to Six Seventeenth-Century Anglican Writers, edited by Benedicta Ward, 1-8 Oxford: SLG Press, 1976. [sample of his work] ———“The English Origins of the ‘Miracles of the Virgin.’” Medieval and Renaissance Studies 4 (1958): 176-216. [sample of detailed translation work to further historical understanding] ———The Making of the Middle Ages. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1953. [first and probably greatest achievement] ———“Marjorie Reeves as an Historian.” in Prophecy and Millenarianism: Essays in Honour of Marjorie Reeves, edited by Ann Williams, 1-9. Essex: Longman, 1980. [assessment of another historian’s work and contributions to scholarship] ———Medieval Humanism and Other Studies. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970. [collection of essays on particular figures and general evaluations of issues in medieval studies] ———Review of Augustine of Hippo, by Peter Brown. The New Statesman (22 September 1967): 360-361. [interesting review of praise for younger historian at beginning of his career] ———Review of A History of the English Speaking Peoples: Volume 1, The Birth of Britain, by Winston S. Churchill. The Economist (28 April 1956): 3. [fascinating as review of famous personality’s work and surprisingly helpful for its assessment] ———Review of La Naissance du Purgatoire, by Jacques Le Goff. Times Literary Supplement (18 June 1982): 651-652. [review of peer with whom he has been compared]
———Review of Religious Orders in England, by David Knowles. Journal of Theological Studies 50 (1948): 98-100. [interesting because of supposed rivalry] ———Review of Religious Orders in England, Vol. II: The End of the Middles Ages, by David Knowles. Journal of Theological Studies N.S. 8 (1957): 190-194. [interesting for criticisms and rivalry] ———Review of Rural England 1086-1135: A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions, by Reginald Lennard. The Economist (5 September 1959): 726. [glowing review that illuminates the way he expects scholarship to be done] ———Response to Review of Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume1, Foundations, by David d’Avray. Reviews in History (November 1996) http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/paper/rick.html (accessed 21 May 2008). [fascinating response to a review at nearly at the end of his life] ———Saint Anselm and His Biographer. London: Cambridge University Press, 1963. [wonderful sample of situational history] ———Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Volume 1, Foundations. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995. [book at end of life culminating life’s thought on humanism in Middle Ages] ———Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970. [commissioned work providing general summary of High Middle Ages]