Aelred of Rievaulx (1110–1167) was born in Hexham in Northumberland near the border with Scotland. In his adolescence, he pursued an education at the court of King David I of Scotland. In 1134, he gave up all of his luxuries to join the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx where he was eventually elected abbot, a position he would hold until his death. As a writer, Aelred left behind a substantial body of work noted for its quality and breadth of insight. His most well-known work is Spiritual Friendship, which is widely considered a classic of Christian spirituality.