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Carley, James P. 1946-

Carley, James P. 1946-

PERSONAL:

Born 1946. Education: University of Victoria, B.A.; Dalhousie University, M.A.; University of Toronto, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—English Department, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic. York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, professor of English and Distinguished Research Professor.

MEMBER:

Royal Society of Canada.

WRITINGS:

John of Glastonbury, Cronica, Sive, Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie: Text with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary, British Archaeological Reports (Oxford, England), 1978.

The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey: An Edition, Translation, and Study of John of Glastonbury's "Cronica, Sive, Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie," translated by David Townsend, Boydell Press (Dover, NH), 1985.

Glastonbury Abbey: The Holy House at the Head of the Moors Adventurous, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1988.

(Author of introduction) Edwin Arlington Robinson, Edwin Arlington Robinson (poems), Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 1990.

(Author of introduction) Matthew Arnold and William Morris, Boydell Press (Wolfeboro, NH), 1990.

(Author of introduction) Algernon Charles Swinburne, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 1990.

(Editor, with Lesley Abrams) The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey: Essays in Honour of the Ninetieth Birthday of C.A. Ralegh Radford, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 1991.

(Editor, with Martin B. Shichtman) Culture and the King: The Social Implications of the Arthurian Legend: Essays in Honor of Valerie M. Lagorio, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Colin G.C. Tite) Books and Collectors, 1200-1700: Essays Presented to Andrew Watson, British Library (London, England), 1997.

(Editor) The Libraries of King Henry VIII, British Library (London, England), 2000.

(Editor, with Marie Axton) "Triumphs of English": Henry Parker, Lord Morley, Translator to the Tudor Court: New Essays in Interpretation, introduction by David Starkey, British Library (London, England), 2000.

(Editor) Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition, D.S. Brewer (Rochester, NY), 2001.

The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, preface by David Starkey, British Library (London, England), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

James P. Carley is a Canadian academic. Born in 1946, Carley earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Victoria. He went on to complete a master of arts degree from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He eventually earned the position of professor of English and Distinguished Research Professor at Toronto's York University. Carley is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Carley published his first book, John of Glastonbury, Cronica, Sive, Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie: Text with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary, in 1978. In 1985 he published his second book, The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey: An Edition, Translation, and Study of John of Glastonbury's "Cronica, Sive, Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie," which was translated by David Townsend. Carley continued his study of Glastonbury Abbey in 1988 with the publishing of Glastonbury Abbey: The Holy House at the Head of the Moors Adventurous.

In 1990, Carley wrote the introduction to a number of collections, including Edwin Arlington Robinson, Matthew Arnold and William Morris, and Algernon Charles Swinburne. In 1991, Carley edited The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey: Essays in Honour of the Ninetieth Birthday of C.A. Ralegh Radford with Lesley Abrams.

In 1994, Carley edited Culture and the King: The Social Implications of the Arthurian Legend: Essays in Honor of Valerie M. Lagorio with Martin B. Shichtman. The book contains seventeen essays that each seek to open up new interpretations of the legend of King Arthur through differing cultural approaches which use the legend to advance various positions and issues.

Ernest N. Kaulbach, writing in the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, noted that "the tendency of all of these essays is informative, although explications of the position of Malory's ‘Gareth’ in the last two essays produce the ‘contradictory results’ decried by the editors," adding that "the contemporary methodologies seem to reinvent cultural concerns already implicit in the texts." Kaulbach also took note that "a useful index of persons and places concludes a volume … free of typos." Kaulbach concluded that "despite minor flaws in editorial logic, arrangement and statement, Culture and the King is an effective 1990s response to the 1960s Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages."

Carley edited Books and Collectors, 1200-1700: Essays Presented to Andrew Watson with Colin G.C. Tite in 1997. The study covers the scholarship of English medieval books and the relationship of the books with their owners and sellers. Special attention is given to the concept of memory in English history, along with the significance of each book that was a part of booksellers' and owners' collections. Also examined are reasons why certain books were preserved throughout history while others were seemingly expendable and left by the way.

A contributor to the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada remarked that books of this type are usually an "academic pot-luck supper assembled by colleagues and former students, and display little thematic unity or rationale other than the association of their authors with the scholar being honoured." The contributor conceded, however, that this book "is an exception to this rule, and unexpectedly so, given the broad range of Andrew Watson's interests and achievements." The contributor concluded that "the editors of this volume are to be congratulated on assembling such a coherent group of studies. The quality of contributions is uniformly very high, as is the level of editing. I have found only a handful of typographical errors, all involving Latin phrases and titles."

In 2000, Carley edited "Triumphs of English": Henry Parker, Lord Morley, Translator to the Tudor Court: New Essays in Interpretation with Marie Axton. The account is comprised of seven edited texts by Lord Morley and eleven essays about him that analyze his life and put his works into context. Issues addressed include Morley's views on politics and religion, the presentation of his works to Henry VIII, his literary interests, and his actual funeral.

S.J. Gunn, writing in the English Historical Review on the way the book portrays Morley, observed that the essays "wisely do not attempt to propel him to the top of the canonical pole, but they do give him back his proper place in the literary world of the early Tudor court and thereby do much to illuminate that court and its cultures, political, literary and religious."

The following year, Carley edited Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition. The book highlights the history of Glastonbury Abbey, an English abbey that has, for hundreds of years, publicly made attempts to increase its prominence. In the late twelfth century, it claimed to be the resting place of the body of the legendary King Arthur and his queen, Guinevere. From that point until the sixteenth century, the abbey produced numerous stories connecting it, albeit dubiously, to a number of historical and legendary events or people, and pumping up its purported founder, Joseph of Arimathea. Carley shows how the abbey's claims were used for political gain by the English crown as historical proof for a number of stories, including the apostolic conversion of the kingdom to Christianity before neighboring kingdoms converted.

A contributor to Medium Aevum described Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition as a "useful collection of reprints." Judith Weiss, reviewing the book in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, mentioned that anyone interested in the topic "will here find no shortage of reading matter," but added that "the volume should be prominently displayed in the abbey bookshop, though its size and price may deter the modern pilgrim from becoming better informed about Glastonbury's venerable history of deception."

Carley published The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives in 2004. Prefaced by David Starkey, the book gives an analysis of the infamous English monarch and his numerous wives, putting into perspective what books the king had inherited from his predecessors, what books were given to him by friends, which books were gifts from foreign dignitaries and monarchs, and which he himself acquired. Carley argues that knowing the origins of the books gives contemporary scholarship on the monarch a new window to see how those around Henry viewed him as well as speculating why Henry chose the books that he purchased or commissioned. Born the first king of the printing age, Henry is one of the earliest figures in English history to accumulate a large mass of books. His wives' collections allow a look into their own religious and political ideologies and literary tastes.

Nicholas Barker, writing in the Spectator, commented that "the pictures in [The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives] are more than just illustrations; they recreate vividly the texture as well as appearance of the books in Henry's life. The text explains what they meant to Henry." Barker concluded that "apart from their picturesque splendour, the chief fascination of Henry VIII's books is the reflection that they provide of the intellectual currents of that tumultuous time. In those, the chief influence was his own. The books are a reminder that it was the workings of his mind, as well as that commanding presence, that made him so formidable." A contributor to the Reference & Research Book News also noted that the book is "thoroughly illustrated," adding that it contributes "to the study of both Tudor intellectual life and book history." David M. Head, reviewing the book in the Historian, mentioned that "this beautiful book has 139 (mostly color) illustrations of bindings, illuminations, and annotations—it would nicely ornament a coffee table." Head pointed bibliophiles to Carley's 2000 publication The Libraries of King Henry VIII, but concluded that The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives "is an admirable and attractive survey of a surprisingly interesting topic."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Catholic Historical Review, April, 1990, Bennett Hill, review of Glastonbury Abbey: The Holy House at the Head of the Moors Adventurous, p. 340.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, November, 1994, C.S. Cox, review of Culture and the King: The Social Implications of the Arthurian Legend: Essays in Honor of Valerie M. Lagorio, p. 452.

Church History, June, 1990, William Trent Foley, review of Glastonbury Abbey, p. 281.

English Historical Review, September, 2003, S.J. Gunn, review of "Triumphs of English": Henry Parker, Lord Morley, Translator to the Tudor Court: New Essays in Interpretation, p. 1054; December, 2006, Margaret Aston, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 1533.

Historian, summer, 2006, David M. Head, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 378.

Huntington Library Quarterly, June 22, 2002, David R Carlson, review of The Libraries of King Henry VIII, p. 545.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July, 1992, Susan J. Ridyard, review of The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey: Essays in Honour of the Ninetieth Birthday of C.A. Ralegh Radford, p. 504; January, 2003, Judith Weiss, review of Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition, p. 139.

Journal of English and Germanic Philology, April, 1996, Ernest N. Kaulbach, review of Culture and the King, p. 234.

Medieval Review, June, 2006, Joseph Black, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives.

Medium Aevum, fall, 2001, review of Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition, p. 365.

Notes and Queries, March, 2002, A.S.G. Edwards, review of Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition, p. 100.

Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, fall, 1999, review of Books and Collectors, 1200-1700: Essays Presented to Andrew Watson, p. 73.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2005, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 292.

Sixteenth Century Journal, fall, 2002, Thomas F. Mayer, review of "Triumphs of English," p. 826; summer, 2006, Dakota L. Hamilton, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 473.

Spectator, March 26, 2005, Nicholas Barker, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 42.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, April, 1987, Charles T. Wood, review of The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey: An Edition, Translation, and Study of John of Glastonbury's "Cronica, Sive, Antiquitates Glastoniensis Ecclesie," p. 426.

Times Literary Supplement, October 22, 1993, Charles Thomas, review of The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey, p. 30; March 16, 2001, H.R. Woudhuysen, review of The Libraries of King Henry VIII, p. 32; April 8, 2005, J.B. Trapp, review of The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, p. 31.

ONLINE

Gothicimage.co.uk/,http://www.gothicimage.co.uk/ (March 31, 2008), author profile.

York University, Department of English Web site,http://www.arts.york.ca/english/ (March 31, 2008), author profile.

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