Gerald of Wales

views updated May 14 2018

Gerald of Wales (1146–1223). Gerald was born at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire with a Norman father and a Welsh mother—consequently, he reflected, he was not accepted by either side. After education at Gloucester and at Paris, a promising career in the church (he was archdeacon of Brecon by 1175) ran into difficulties and he consoled himself with his writing. He failed to become bishop of St Davids (a see which an uncle had held) because the strong support given to him by Welsh princes may have alarmed the English. His best-known works were his accounts of Ireland and Wales—Topography of Ireland (1188), Conquest of Ireland (1189), Journey through Wales (1191), and Description of Wales (1194). ‘Incurably egotistic’ is one comment, but he took trouble with his writing and was a keen observer. He was said to be tall, handsome, with bushy eyebrows and vast energy.

J. A. Cannon

Gerald of Wales

views updated Jun 11 2018

Gerald of Wales English name for Giraldus Cambrensis.