The medieval letter collection is a genre which has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 50 years. In particular, scholars have studied why and how letters were written, preserved and collected. 2 Letters could be collected by a recipient, by a disciple of the writer, or sometimes by the writer himself. The best known collection of this last type is, perhaps, that of Peter of Blois, collected in the 1180’s and reworked some time around the
year 1200. Other writers known to have collected their own letters include Wibald of Stavelot, Guido of Basoches, Arnulf of Lisieux, William of Aebelholt, Gerald of Wales and Nicholas of Clairvaux. St. Anselm and Peter the Venerable are also thought to have done so. A less well known writer in the same genre is Herbert Losinga (1054-1119), bishop of Thetford and Norwich. A contemporary of Lanfranc and Anselm, he is better known for his activities
as a bishop, and in particular his role as the founder of Norwich cathedral, than for his writings. Though his letter collection has not won him literary fame, a closer look does shed some light on the writing and selecting processes employed in the making of a letter collection.