Gerald of Wales, or Giraldus Cambrensis, was a medieval clergyman and historian who served as the royal clerk and chaplain to King Henry II of England. Gerald of Wales was afforded the opportunity in 1185 to accompany the King's son John on his first expedition to Ireland. Because of those travels he would write his first of many works by penning the "Topographia Hibernica" or the "Topography of Ireland". The work is an account of the landscape and people of Ireland and was one the longest and most influential works on the country during the Middle Ages. Shortly after writing this work he would compose his "Expugnatio Hibernica" or the "Conquest of Ireland" in which he accounts King Henry's conquest of the country. For those interested in Irish History the "Topology" and the "Conquest", both contained in this volume, give an interesting perspective from one of the foremost medieval historians.
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