The anti-monastic reaction in the reigns of Edward the Martyr and Æthelred II, 975-993: a time of opportunism
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This thesis aims to provide a new insight into the so-called anti-monastic reaction which took place after King Edgar’s death in 975 by analysing all the available evidence from fourteen different monasteries and bishoprics known to be affected during this period. It has been usually thought that the anti-monastic reaction was mainly caused by the politics of the period, but the present study argues that the reaction was an act of opportunism. The actions of small landowners and the great landowners are considered according to their contexts: both acted out of opportunism, but the latter’s actions were also related to their personal bonds and interests. In order to provide a broad background to this reaction, the developments in the tenth-century England, mainly administrative and legal, are considered in this thesis as well and the current consensus of the subject have also been addressed. Lastly, a brief comparison between England, France and Germany is included in this thesis to see whether similar reaction took place or not.