R. W. Southern (Richard William Southern) Biography
(1912–2001), (Richard William Southern), The Making of the Middle Ages
British medieval historian, born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he became a fellow and tutor in 1937. He was Chichele Professor at All Souls College from 1961 to 1969, when he was elected President of St John's College. The Making of the Middle Ages (1953), his first major work, has been widely translated and remains an essential text on the period. Southern's subsequent publications, noted for their fluently accessible mastery of complex bodies of knowledge, include Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (1962), Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (1970), and Robert Grosseteste (1986), a study of its subject's enormous contributions to science and philosophy in the thirteenth century. St Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape (1990) supersedes St Anselm and His Biographer (1963), Southern's previous work on the saint and his follower Eadmer, author of Vita Anselmi.