William of Poitiers began his career as a knight before studying in the schools of Poitiers and entering the Church. He became a chaplain in the household of William the Conqueror, and was able to give a first-hand account of the events of 1066-7. The Gesta Guillelmi, his unfinished biography of the king, is particularly important for its detailed description of William's campaigns in Normandy, the careful preparations he made for the invasion of England,
the battle of Hastings and the establishment of Norman power after the Conquest. It is a mine of information of military tactics and the conduct of war in the eleventh century. Though written from the point
of view of the Norman court, it gives what is probably the most authentic account of these momentous events. This edition, by the late R. H. C. Davis and Marjorie Chibnall, with facing-page English translation of the Latin text, provides the first complete English translation, as well as a full historical introduction and detailed notes.
`this new edition would fill a gap even if Raymond Foreville's excellent edition of 1952 were not out of print. It is a first-class work of scholarship in every way. The fifty-page introduction, a monograph in itself, is a model of clarity and completeness ... This is an edition that continues the tradition of high scholarly standards of the OMT series and is a delight to use.'
Peter Damian-Grint, Medium Aevum, Vol 67, no. 2
`This new edition now offers another ten (inspired) amendments, but its principal justification lies with its elaborate annotation and its provision of a parallel English translation ... Chibnall has discharged her responsibilities as editor with commendable thoroughness'
D.J.A. Matthew, University of Reading, EHR, June 1999