Anglo-Saxons in a Frankish World, 690-900 provides a major reassessment of the Anglo-Saxons' influence on the Frankish world following their mission to early medieval Germany and the Netherlands.
"Palmer biedt een inzichtelijk, leesbaar en uiterste actuele studie van de invloed van Angelsaksische missionarissen op het Frankische vasteland. [...] Een ieder die zich wil verdiepen in de Europese kersteningsgeschiedenis zal niet om Palmers werk heen kunnen."
(Erik Goosmann, in Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 123, 2010, p. 451)
The Anglo-Saxon mission to early medieval Germany and the
Netherlands has long been seen as a major contribution to the
foundation of Christian Europe. Encouraged by the activities of
prominent Anglo-Saxons such as St Willibrord (d. 739) and St
Boniface (d. 754), pious men and women left their homes in England
to reform and reinvigorate the culture and politics of the Church
in Northern Europe, while greatly expanding the frontiers of
Christendom. Anglo-Saxons in a Frankish World, 690-900
provides the first major reassessment of the Anglo-Saxons'
influence on the Frankish world for fifty years. It argues that,
because figures like Boniface were so important to the cult of
saints east of the Rhine, stories about them became central to the
ways in which different groups responded to the rapidly changing
landscape of Carolingian culture and politics. The study draws on
letters, charters, and other evidence to recontextualize the
numerous hagiographies written about the Anglo-Saxons on the
European mainland, while providing fresh perspectives on attitudes
to mission, monasticism, authority, and the secular world in East
"(...) the book presents an articulate study of hagiographical interst in the Anglo-Saxon missions (...). It is to be hoped that future research on hagiography will display the same diligent and prudent analysis as James palmer has carried out for the vitae of Anglo-Saxon missionaries." (D. Wassenhoven, in: Bulletin of the German Historical Institute London, November 2011, Volume XXXIII, No. 2, p. 35-38)
"The merit of James Palmer's painstaking and sophisticated analysis of these texts is to bring that richness to the fore, making this a most welcome contribution to scholarship on the Anglo-Saxon mission in particular, but also on the cult of saints more generally." (C. West, in: The Medieval Review, 10.10.15)
"The value of Palmer's book lies in his ability to look beyond the text at the more complex and deeper contexts that produced these sources. In so doing, he has freed the Anglo-Saxon missions from the simplicity of master-narratives. What emerges is a much more complicated, but no less interesting story." (Alexander O'Hara, in Peritia, Volume 22-23, 2011-2012, p. 384-387)