Guibert of Nogent gives a number of examples of a change for the better (bonae mutationis exempla) in the lives of his contemporaries. He evidently considered conversion to be a subject of strong topical appeal to his readers, as well as a matter of importance in itself, and he gives as many examples as he can. He has a double sense of the word conversio in mind. He often refers to the decision to enter a monastery which was the common meaning of the term in his day, but he also understands by it something closer to the larger sense of‘conversion’. Evrard of Breteuil, he says, turned from his pride to examine the wretched state of his soul, and began to look about him for a way of life in which he might live more worthily. He followed the example of Theobald of Champagne, who came to dislike the profession of arms: inter ipsa rudimenta militiae arma despiciens, and made himself self-supporting as a charcoal-burner. One Simon, count of Valois, ‘enriched the religious life of our day by the outstanding example of an unexpected conversion’: mirabili nostri temporis religionem inopinae mutationis claritate ditavit. Such a conversion was often—as Guibert relates it—sudden and irreversible in the change of direction it brought about. For St Bruno, his conversionis initia was something to which he, and others, could later look back with certainty as the moment when he began to live a different kind of life.