Despite a frustrated ecclesiastical career - his ongoing failure to secure the See of St David's embittered him - Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales, Gerald de Barry, c.1146-1220/23) composed many remarkable literary works, initially while employed as a royal clerk for Henry II and, subsequently, in semi-retirement in Lincoln. Eight volumes of his works were compiled as part of the Rolls Series of British medieval material. Noted for his vigorous Latin and anecdotal style, Giraldus gives a vivid portrait of medieval Britain - he revived the ethnographic monograph, lapsed since antiquity - and of the intrigues of the Angevin court. Volume 5, edited by clergyman and historian James F. Dimock (1810-76) and published in 1867, contains Giraldus' treatises on Ireland, his earliest works. The Latin text provides an outstanding contemporary source, while the English editorial preface illuminates nineteenth-century interest in the period.