1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/William of Poitiers

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WILLIAM OF POITIERS (c. 1020-c. 1090), Norman chronicler, was born at Preaux, near Pont Audemer, and belonged to an influential Norman family. After serving as a soldier he studied at Poitiers, and then returning to Normandy became chaplain to Duke William (William the Conqueror) and archdeacon of Lisieux. He wrote an eulogistic life of the duke, the earlier and concluding parts of which are lost; and Ordericus Vitalis, who gives a short biography of him in his Hisloria ecclcsiaslica, says that he also wrote verses. William's Gcsla GjiUclmi II. ducis Normannorum, the extant part of which covers the period between 1047 and 1068, is valuable for details of the Conqueror's life, although untrustworthy with regard to affairs in England. According to Freeman, " the work is disfigured by his constant spirit of violent partisanship." It was written between 1071 and 1077, and was used by Ordericus Vitalis. The Gcsla was first published by A. Duchesne in the Historiae Normannorum scriptores (Paris, 1619); and it is also found in the Scriplores rerum geslarum Willelmi Conquestoris of J. A . Giles (London, 1845). There is a French translation in tome xxix. of Guizot's Collection des memoires relatifs a I'histoire de France (Paris, 1826). See G. Korting, Wilhelms von Poitiers Gcsla Cutlelmi ducis (Dresden, 1875); and A. Molinier, Les Sources de I'histoire de France, tome iii. (Paris, 1903).