History and Community online with The Downside Review!

Our collaboration with the University of Bristol and the British Academy comes to fruition in The Downside Review …

The result of many months work has come to fruition with the online publication of a special issue of The Downside Review reflecting the project History for the Community: Monk Historians and Communal Heritage funded by the British Academy and conducted by Dr Ben Pohl of the University of Bristol in collaboration with the monks of Downside Abbey from 2019 – 21. The project capitalized on the renewed public and scholarly interest in history and communal heritage in the UK and in the international arena. Scholars from the UK, Europe and the USA contributed articles to The Downside Review. Dr Ben Pohl, the guest editor, wrote:

‘Downside Abbey proved an invaluable and ideally placed partner in this project with its well-established roots in both public and scholarly culture particularly (though by no means exclusively) in the Southwest region and Bristol’s surroundings.’

The proceedings reflect the main aims of the project to highlight centers of historical activity where cultural knowledge has been collected, curated and preserved for centuries in ways that are of interest not only to the global academic community but also equally to the general public.

The virtual exhibition which was launched in November 2020 has seen consistently high levels of traffic and regular social media coverage sustaining the project’s presence and legacy in the public sphere. The exhibition can be viewed here

The articles in this special issue of The Downside Review are:

Ben Pohl, Guest Editor’s Preface (free to view ‘open access’)

Scott Bruce, ‘Veterum vestigia patrum’: the Greek Patriarchs in the Manuscript Culture of Early Medieval Europe

Eileen Gardiner, Visions of Heaven and Hell: a Monastic Literature (open access)

Richard Allen, History, Memory, and Community in Cistercian Normandy (12th – 13th centuries)

Victoria Hodgson, History and Hagiography: the ‘Vita Sancti Servani’ and the Foundation of Culross Abbey (open access)

Steven Vanderputten, They Lived Under That Rule as Do Those Who Have Succeeded Them: Simultaneity and Conflict in the Foundation Narrative of a French Women’s Convent (10th – 18th centuries)


You can view this special issue here and subscribe to The Downside Review here.

The Downside Review has been in continuous publication since 1880 and has had some distinguished editors such as Edmund Bishop and Dom David Knowles FRHistS. The journal welcomes contributions from anyone. It has a subscription base of over 6000 and is now published by SAGE, one of the largest journal distributors in the world. If you would like to submit an article contact the editor here.