Originally published in 1858, this two-volume chronicle covers approximately 500 years, from the seventh-century foundation of Abingdon Abbey to the accession of Richard I in 1189. Editor Joseph Stevenson (1806-95) claims that its value is less as a detailed history than as an illustration of England's journey from barbarism to civilisation. Although ostensibly a record of the fortunes of the Benedictine monastery, it is a rich source of not only local but also national and international history. In his prefaces to the Latin text, Stevenson discusses the manuscript sources as well as the context of the monastery's development. He goes on to describe the influence of Christianity and the monastic system on such areas as agriculture and commerce. Volume 1 ends at the Norman Conquest and consists largely of the monastery's title deeds. Volume 2 includes a life of the tenth-century abbot and saint Ethelwold as well as glossaries and an index.