This book offers the first comprehensive history of the order of Tiron. As a unique survey of the Tironensian experience it sheds new light on traditional assumptions of twelfth-century monastic history. Previous sketches have been shaped by the life of the founder, the Vita Bernardi, which depicts the forests of western France teeming with holy men, and that self-image of hermit preachers in the wilderness has been deeply influential in the historiography of twelfth-century reform. Drawing from the latest advances in the understanding of hagiography and institutional memory, Thompson reinterprets key sources to offer a valuable contribution to the history of monasticism. She outlines the rapid dissemination of the Tironensian approach in the first thirty years of its existence, its network of contacts with the lay elite and the impact on the Tironensians of the successes of the Cistercians and Mendicants.