McKitterick, Rosamond 1949–

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McKitterick, Rosamond 1949–

(Rosamond Deborah McKitterick)

PERSONAL:

Born May 31, 1949, in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England; daughter of Claude Anthony and Melissa Heaney Pierce; married David John McKitterick, May 15, 1976; children: Lucy Rosamond. Education: Studied at the University of Munich; University of Western Australia, B.A., 1970; Cambridge University, Ph.D., 1976, M.A., 1977, Litt.D., 1991. Hobbies and other interests: Music, fresh air.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Cambridge University, Faculty of History, West Rd., Cambridge CB3 9EF, England; fax: 44-1223-335968. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and historian. Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, assistant lecturer, 1979-85, lecturer, 1985-91, reader in early medieval European history, 1991-97, professor in early medieval European history, 1997—. Newnham College, research fellow, 1974-77, fellow, 1977-97, professorial fellow, 1997—, vice principal, 1996-98; Lady Margaret preacher, Cambridge University, 1999; Balsdon fellow, British School at Rome British Academy, 2001-02; fellow-in-residence, Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies, 2005-06; Royal Historical Society fellow.

MEMBER:

European Medieval Academy, Korrespondierendes Mitglied der Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Ecclesiastical History Society, International Society of Anglo Saxonists, Henry Bradshaw Society, French History Society, Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies.

WRITINGS:

The Frankish Church and the Carolingian Reforms, 789-895, Royal Historical Society (London, England), 1977.

(Editor, with Dorothy Whitelock and David Dumville) Ireland in Early Mediaeval Europe: Studies in Memory of Kathleen Hughes, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1982.

The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987, Longman (New York, NY), 1983.

The Carolingians and the Written Word, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1989.

The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Books, Scribes, and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries, Variorum (Brookfield, VT), 1994.

Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

The New Cambridge Medieval History, seven volumes, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995-2005.

The Frankish Kings and Culture in the Early Middle Ages, Variorum (Brookfield, VT), 1995.

(Editor, with Roland Quinault) Edward Gibbon and Empire, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

History and Its Audiences: Inaugural Lecture, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

(Editor) The Early Middle Ages: Europe 400-1000, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Atlas of the Medieval World, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

History and Memory in the Carolingian World, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 2006.

Charlemagne: The Formation of Carolingian Political Identity, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rosamond McKitterick is an English academic and historian. Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, on May 31, 1949, she earned a bachelor of arts degree from Perth's University of Western Australia in 1970. With a period of time studying at the University of Munich, she completed her graduate degrees entirely at Cambridge University, including a Ph.D. in 1976, a master of arts degree in 1977, and a Litt.D. in 1991. McKitterick began working as an assistant lecturer at Cambridge University in 1979 and was promoted to lecturer in 1985. From 1991 to 1997, she served as a reader in early medieval European history, at which point she was made a full professor. McKitterick has held a number of fellowships and written dozens of history books in addition to her teaching and research responsibilities at Cambridge University.

McKitterick published Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation in 1994. Based on a series of lectures, the book's ten essays trace the shift in power from Rome to the Germanic kingdoms of western Europe from 476 to 987.

John J. Contreni, writing on "this handsome book" in the English Historical Review, commented that "if the lectures that inspired the chapters in Carolingian Culture bore any resemblance to the published essays, both Cambridge's undergraduates and Rome's heirs were well served. In their published form, the essays collectively advance for their new audience of readers our understanding of the Carolingian period by systematically confronting the complex dynamic of emulation and innovation that animated Carolingian culture. As an added bonus, many of the essays invite readers to conceptualize old themes (politics, history writing, philosophy, poetry, grammar, vernacular language, music, art, script) in new ways." Richard E. Sullivan, reviewing the book in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, remarked that it would appeal to "all readers intrigued by the processes through which the past is absorbed into the present and converted into the future. One especially hopes that this volume will serve as a model to fill a pressing need in medieval studies; how to harness teams of scholars to use their expertise in a way that will produce a level of understanding of a broad aspect of past human activity that is greater than what is known and understood of its parts." Sullivan concluded that "this excellent work is the best synthesis of Carolingian culture available. It deserves the attention of a wide audience." Writing in the Journal of Theological Studies, Lesley Smith did not recommend the account for undergraduate students, but commented that "this collection has many virtues: it shows the liveliness of this field of study, the range of Carolingian achievement, it gathers much new research together in one place, it includes excellent bibliographies, and, not least, its paperback version is actually affordable."

In 1997 McKitterick coedited with Roland Quinault Edward Gibbon and Empire. The book continues the scholarship on eighteenth-century British historian Edward Gibbon, who wrote authoritative accounts of Roman history.

John Gascoigne, reviewing the book in the Canadian Journal of History, stated that "Gibbon, as these essays make clear, is still an historian to be taken seriously even though the passage of time has inevitably brought into question some of his conclusions…. At the distance of two centuries, then, the contributors have extended to Gibbon the scholarly courtesy of treating his work as worthy of a fruitful and ongoing dialogue." Gascoigne concluded that "this scholarly and well-produced set of essays is, then, one which underlines the continuing influence and vitality, of Gibbon's work." Writing in the English Historical Review, R.H. Sweet noted that "Gibbon continues to be read, but chiefly, it must be said, as a literary stylist; this volume should go some way towards reawakening a wider appreciation of his skill as a historian." Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, jointly reviewing the book in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, found that the collection of essays offers "serious scholarly discussions about reading Gibbon on ‘empire’ in a variety of historical contexts."

McKitterick published History and Memory in the Carolingian World in 2004. The book examines how to read and write history from and about the early Middle Ages.

M.A. Clausen, reviewing the book in Church History, claimed that "through her close examination of texts and her remarkable knowledge of early medieval libraries and their manuscripts, McKitterick has accomplished much in this volume. First," McKitterick uses "ideas associated with such scholars as Patrick Geary" and strengthens the base of their argument, placing "them in wider range of most interesting contexts." According to Clausen, McKitterick also demonstrates "how unique the Franks' interest in history was, and how rich a legacy they left medieval and modern Europe." Most important, Clausen opined, McKitterick "has spelled out, in a most convincing manner, the role history plays in the formation of the identity of its many audiences, and how historical texts and the associations they create contribute to the formation of that identity." Michael Richter, reviewing the book in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, criticized that "one must single out a particular blindness of the author in matters Irish. She misspells Irish names, medieval and modern, or even mixes Irish-German names," adding that "she is apparently unaware that annals with incarnation years started in Iona a century at least before the Carolingian annals did, and she dismisses without hard evidence the Irish descent of Virgil of Salzburg." Richter summarized that "the book as a whole has many overlaps and repetitions. It could easily have been shortened by a quarter at least, and there would have been thus room to discuss thoroughly the relevant texts." Richter, however, conceded that "important manuscript material is here re-contextualised," appending that "overall new and interesting constellations arise."

In 2005 McKitterick published Atlas of the Medieval World. The atlas not only covers Medieval Europe but also gives insight into the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and parts of the Far East.

Booklist contributor Michael Tosko remarked that "leading medieval historian" McKitterick created an "exquisite atlas." Tosko summarized that "overall, this volume would be a welcome addition to academic, public, and high-school libraries." A contributor to Reference & Research Book News observed that the atlas "eschews an exclusive focus on political developments and the western Christian arena" by focusing as well on city planning, commerce, and cultures around the world. Writing in School Library Journal, Eric Norton mentioned that "highly detailed maps are abundant," appending that "this work goes considerably beyond a typical atlas in scope." Edward K. Werner, writing in Library Journal, noted that the author "has produced a handsome, richly illustrated, and informative atlas."

McKitterick published Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages in 2006. Here the author covers the Frankish kingdoms of the eighth and ninth centuries in an attempt to gain greater insight into how the Franks viewed historical texts and formed their perceptions of the past. A contributor to Reference & Research Book News noted that the book "expands upon earlier work."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, December 1, 1984, William M. Daly, review of The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987, p. 1317; February 1, 2006, John J. Contreni, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 247.

Booklist, September 1, 2005, Michael Tosko, review of Atlas of the Medieval World, p. 163.

Canadian Journal of History, August 1, 1998, John Gascoigne, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 345.

Catholic Historical Review, April 1, 1997, Richard E. Sullivan, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 302.

Central European History, January 1, 1995, review of Books, Scribes, and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries, p. 87.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 1, 2005, S.R. Boettcher, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 1662.

Church History, September 1, 1994, William D. Carpe, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 497; December 1, 1996, Carl A. Volz, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 674; December 1, 2005, M.A. Claussen, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 840.

Contemporary Review, July 1, 1997, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 56.

Eighteenth-Century Studies, fall, 1998, Patricia B. Craddock, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 117.

English Historical Review, January 1, 1993, John J. Contrent, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 163; September 1, 1995, John J. Contreni, review of Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation, p. 938; June 1, 1998, J. Campbell, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 680; February 1, 1999, R.H. Sweet, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 211; April 1, 2002, Patrick Wormald, review of The Early Middle Ages: Europe 400-1000, p. 374.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, February 1, 1995, Stuart Airlie, review of Carolingian Culture, p. 106.

History Today, September 1, 1993, review of The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe, p. 53 November 1, 1997, David King, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 52.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, October 1, 1995, Richard E. Sullivan, review of Carolingian Culture, p. 700; July 1, 1997, Michael Idomir Allen, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 528; January 1, 2006, Michael Richter, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 116.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, spring, 2007, Warren Brown, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 601.

Journal of Theological Studies, October 1, 1990, Margaret Gibson, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 732; October 1, 1995, Lesley Smith, review of Carolingian Culture, p. 748.

Library Journal, June 1, 2005, Edward K. Werner, review of Atlas of the Medieval World, p. 174.

Library Quarterly, July 1, 1990, Marsha L. Dutton, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 256.

Medieval Review, August 1, 2005, Felice Lifshitz, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World; May 1, 2006, David Nicholas, review of Atlas of the Medieval World.

Medium Aevum, fall, 1994, John J. Thompson, "Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College Cambridge, Vol. 5.i: Manuscripts," p. 360.

Reference & Research Book News, March 1, 1995, review of Books, Scribes, and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries, p. 57; September 1, 1995, review of The Frankish Kings and Culture in the Early Middle Ages, p. 7; August 1, 2005, review of Atlas of the Medieval World, p. 30; November 1, 2007, review of Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages.

Reference Reviews, July 1, 2005, John Lawrence, review of Atlas of the Medieval World; September 1, 2006, review of Atlas of the Medieval World.

School Library Journal, December 1, 2005, Eric Norton, review of Atlas of the Medieval World, p. 92.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, October 1, 1992, Roger E. Reynolds, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 1003; October 1, 2006, Deborah M. Deliyannis, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World, p. 1228.

Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, summer, 1998, Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 553.

Times Educational Supplement, December 25, 1987, review of The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987, p. 11.

Times Higher Education Supplement, January 3, 1997, Peter Coss, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 21.

Times Literary Supplement, December 8, 1989, M.T. Clanchy, review of The Carolingians and the Written Word, p. 1354; March 25, 1994, D.A. Bullough, review of Carolingian Culture, p. 26; June 7, 1996, R.I. Moore, review of The New Cambridge Medieval History, p. 31; August 8, 1997, Michael Whitby, review of Edward Gibbon and Empire, p. 32.

ONLINE

Cambridge University, Faculty of History Web site,http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/ (June 13, 2008), author profile.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (April 1, 2005), Anna Taylor, review of History and Memory in the Carolingian World.

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