Dunstan was born near Glastonbury around 910 into a noble family. He received a good education and spent time at the court of the King of Wessex.
A saintly uncle urged him to enter the monastic life; he delayed, but followed the advice in time, on recovering from an illness.
Returning to Glastonbury, Dunstan lived as a monk, devoting his work time to creative pursuits: illuminating, music, and metalwork.
In 943 the new king made him abbot, and this launched a great revival of monastic life in England. Starting with Glastonbury, Dunstan restored discipline to several monasteries and promoted study and teaching.
Under two later kings, he rose to political and ecclesiastical eminence, being chief minister and Archbishop of Canterbury under King Edgar. This enabled him and his followers to extend his reforms to the whole English Church.
In 970 he fell from political favour but continued as archbishop, preaching and teaching.
He died in 988.