The Monastic Order in England by Dom David Knowles was originally published in 1940 and was quickly recognised as a scholarly classic and masterpiece of historical literature. It covers the period from about 940, when St Dunstan inaugurated the monastic reform by becoming abbot of Glastonbury, to the early thirteenth century. Its core is a marvellous narrative and detailed analysis of monasticism in twelfth-century England, brilliantly set in the continental background of all the monastic movements of the day - with a vivid evocation of Anselm, Ailred, Henry of Blois and a host of other central figures. Dom David himself brought this second edition up to date in 1963.
Part I. Historical: 1. Introductory; 2. 940–1066; 3. 1066–1100; 4. 1100–1135; 5. 1135–1175; 6. 1175–1216; Part II. Institutional: 7. The interior polity of the black monks; 8. The work and influence of the monks; 9. The external relations of the monastery; 10. The white monks; 11. Monastic discipline; 12. Conclusion.