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Jones to hold book signing Thursday at Barnes &Noble

One Troy University professor has surely had his work cut out for him in the last three years.

But that work has finally paid off.

History professor Allen Jones has completed and published his first book “Social Mobility in Late Antique Gaul.”

The 372-page book, published by Cambridge University Press, focuses on society in medieval France.

Jones, largely influenced by the works of St. Gregory of Tours, explores how non-elitists can work to improve their social class.

Since much of the information comes from Gregory’s stories of saints’ lives, Jones said he focuses on how social situations could be improved based on moving up in the church.

“There are case studies where prisoners were released by saints, and in return for receiving your life, you becomes clients to the church establishment,” Jones said.

And, Jones said his book also is centered on the life of St. Martin of Tours, the namesake of the Catholic church located in Troy.

Jones’ book is somewhat of a continuation of his dissertation, which he completed in 1998.

“One of the best parts of writing my book is having spent more than a decade studying (others’ work on this subject), I get to share my own interpretation of this violent world,” Jones said. “My bishop is perhaps a little more gritty than perhaps some in the past.”

The book is written for students with some background in medieval history or historians, something that gives Jones a chance to both teach and express opinions to other scholars.

“This is my first book, but it probably won’t be my last,” Jones said.

“I can’t say it was an easy experience. It’s a very scholarly book.”

Jones will have a book signing Thursday, Oct. 15 at Troy University’s Barnes & Noble from 1 to 4 p.m.

Jones said he hopes to see friends show up just to wish him well, especially since the book is predominately for historians.