Writing shortly after Aelred of Rievaulx died on 12 January 1167, Walter Daniel, his secretary and fellow monk, has created the picture of Aelred which endures to this day. We come to know a man of 'charity and astonishing sanctity', an ailing abbot whose monks sat chatting around his bed. Only in passing do we glimpse the ambitious young steward at the court of King David of Scotland, the ecclesiastical diplomat and political counselor who moved easily in royal and episcopal circles, or the canny property manager who guided his monasteries to prosperity. From Walter's pen we have a gentle, loving, ascetic abbot who offered spiritual guidance to his monks through conversation and to a wider audience through the treatises he composed, and who died a holy death. The reaction the Life provoked suggest that some contemporaries outside Rievaulx entertained a different picture of the abbot of Rievaulx. Whether motivated by simple dislike, by envy, or by dissatisfaction at a hastily informal 'canonization', the critics stung the indignant Walter to response. Perhaps they, like Walter, viewed as irreconcilable and struggled to keep apart two worlds which Aelred himself integrated and brought together.