G. G. Coulton

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George Gordon Coulton, FBA (15 October 1858 – 4 March 1947) was a British historian, known for numerous works on medieval history. He was known also as a keen controversialist.[1]

He was born in King's Lynn. He was educated at Lynn Grammar School, and Felsted School, and St Catharine's College, Cambridge.[2]

He taught for a short period, and was ordained in 1883. He did not however pursue a life in the Church of England, due to the absence of vocation, and took further teaching jobs, beginning as an independent scholar to study the history of the Middle Ages. A fierce anti-Catholic, he was often, especially during the 1930s, embroiled in embittered journalistic controversy with Hilaire Belloc, who detested him.

In 1911 Coulton found a lecturing position at the University of Cambridge. He became a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge in 1919, a Fellow of the British Academy in 1929.


  • Father Rhine (1898) travel writing
  • "The Monastic Legend: A Criticism of Abbot Gasquet's Henry VIII and the English Monasteries" (1905), article, Medieval Studies, issue 1.
  • Friar's Lantern (1906)
  • Pearl. A Fourteenth-Century Poem (1906) translator
  • From Saint Francis to Dante. Translations from the Chronicle of the Franciscan Salimbene (1221 - 1288) (1907)
  • Chaucer and his England (1908)
  • A Medieval Garner (1910)
  • Life in the Middle Ages (1910; revised 1928 in four volumes)
  • French Monasticism in 1503 (1915)
  • The Main Illusions of Pacificism: a Criticism of Mr. Norman Angell and of the Union of Democratic Control (1916)
  • The Plain man's religion in the Middle Ages (1916) pamphlet
  • The Case for Compulsory Military Service (1917)
  • Social Life in Britain from the Conquest to the Reformation (1918)
  • Christ, St Francis and To-Day (1919)
  • The Roman Catholic Church and the Bible. Some Historical Notes (1921) booklet
  • Monasticism: Its Cause and Effects. Sketch of the Social and Intellectual Part Played By World History By the Monastic Institution
  • Infant Perdition in the Middle Ages (1922)
  • Papal Infallibility (1922)
  • A Victorian Schoolmaster: Henry Hart of Sedbergh (1923)
  • The Death Penalty for Heresy from 1164 to 1921 AD (1924)
  • Roman Catholic Truth: An Open Discussion between G. G. Coulton and L. J. Walker (1924)
  • The Medieval Village (1925) Medieval Village, Manor & Monastery
  • Art and the Reformation (1928) also as Medieval Faith And Symbolism and Fate of Medieval Art in the Renaissance & Reformation
  • Miracle of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1928) editor
  • The Inquisition (1929)
  • Modern Faith (1929)
  • The Black Death (1929)
  • Crusades, Commerce and Adventure (1930)
  • The Works of Liudprand of Cremona (1930) edited with Eileen Power
  • Malta - And Beyond (1930) pamphlet
  • Froissart and His Chronicles: The Chronicler of European Chivalry (1930)
  • The Medieval Scene (1930)
  • Ten Medieval Studies, with Four Appendices (1930)
  • Romanism And Truth (1930, two volumes)
  • In Defence Of The Reformation (1931)
  • Some Problems in Medieval Historiography (1932) Raleigh Lecture
  • Two saints: St. Bernard & St. Francis (1932)
  • Scottish Abbeys and Social Life
  • The Meaning of Medieval Moneys (1934)
  • Commentary on the Rule Of St Augustine By Robertus Richardinus (1935) editor
  • H. W. Fowler (1935)
  • The Faith of St. Thomas More (1935)
  • Sectarian History: A Fresh Development (1937) pamphlet
  • The Scandal of Cardinal Gasquet (1937) pamphlet
  • Inquisition and Liberty (1938)
  • Medieval Panorama (1938, 2 volumes)
  • Studies in Medieval Thought (1940)
  • Europe's Apprenticeship - a Survey of Medieval Latin with Examples (1940)
  • Fourscore Years: an Autobiography (1943), winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
  • Is The Catholic Church Anti-Social? (1946) with Arnold Lunn
  • Stained Glass of the 12th and 13th Centuries from French Cathedrals (1951) with Marcel Aubert
  • Five Centuries of Religion (1927-1950) in four volumes: I St. Bernard, his predecessors and successors, 1000-1200 AD, II The friars and the dead weight of tradition, 1200-1400 AD, III Getting & spending, IV The last days of medieval monachism


  1. ^ Hirsh, John C. (1988). Revelations of Margery Kempe. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 111. ISBN 90-04-08963-2.
  2. ^ "Coulton, George Gordon (CLTN877GG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.


  • Campion, Sarah (1948). Father: a Portrait of G.G. Coulton at Home. London: Michael Joseph. LCCN 49000255

External links

  • Works by G. G. Coulton at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by G. G. Coulton at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Works by or about G. G. Coulton at Internet Archive
  • Papers/biography
  • "Coulton's Cabbage". TIME magazine. 1939-01-02. Retrieved 2013-02-04. (subscription required)
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