Trump is a modern version of King Canute, the legendary English monarch who placed his throne on the seashore and ordered the tide "not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord," according to a 12th-century account by Henry of Huntingdon
. "But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs."
Some interesting literary echoes are apparent in Henry of Huntingdon
's descriptions of Charlemagne and William the Conqueror (pp.
After a chapter on scribal practice and editing issues, he discusses the tradition of creative use of source texts by English historians, particularly Henry of Huntingdon
, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Matthew Paris.
Such depictions stem more from the ideological axes that post-Conquest authors like William of Malmesbury, Orderic Vitalis, and Henry of Huntingdon
had to grind than from any fair-minded attempt to understand the Anglo-Saxon episcopacy in context (ch.
The Welsh writer or writers now known as Nennius (fl.c.770-c.810) pioneered this kind of description, which was followed in the twelfth century by authors like Henry of Huntingdon (c.
Henry of Huntingdon's third wonder was Cheddar Gorge (Somerset):
Given Diana Greenway's efforts, Forester's translation of 1853 also seems a curious choice for Henry of Huntingdon
Whether or not Canute commanded the incoming tide to halt cannot be proven, because the episode was not reported until a century later by a moralistic chronicler, Henry of Huntingdon
. According to Henry, the king staged the scene to demonstrate to sycophantic courtiers his impotence before the forces of nature and their creator.(2) However, later generations forgot his pious motive, and Canute survives in the popular imagination as an examplar of executive folly, like Xerxes who had the Hellspont scourged.(3) Whatever the facts, posterity has its own uses for anecdotes.
1154/55) wrote in History of the Kings of Britain after the death of King Henry I (1135) and certainly before January 1139, when a copy of the next was seen by another English historian, Henry of Huntingdon
, at the Norman abbey of Le Bec.
This chapter follows the evolution of rhetorical strategies used to construct authority in histories, in particular the developments from Bede, to Henry of Huntingdon
, to Geoffrey of Monmouth.