Medieval Institute Publications at Western Michigan University publishes the TEAMS Middle English Texts series, which is designed to make available texts that occupy an important place in the literary and cultural canon but have not been readily obtainable in student editions.
The focus of Middle English Texts is on Middle English literature adjacent to such major authors as Chaucer or Malory. The editions include glosses of difficult words and short introductions on the history of the work, its merits, points of topical interest and brief bibliographies.
Proposals or completed projects to be considered for publication by Medieval Institute Publications should be sent to the series editor, Russell Peck.
Edited by Trevor Russell Smith and Michael Livingston
Composed for King Henry VI in the middle of the Wars of the Roses, Of Knyghthode and Bataile adapts the most widely used military manual in the Middle Ages into English verse. Responding to both the evolution of warfare and the historical background of his own time, its anonymous poet produced what one critic has called “one of the most brilliant military poems of the fifteenth century.” That work is here re-edited from all four surviving manuscripts, and presented with a contextualizing introduction and copious notes and glosses.
ISBN 978-1-58044-476-7 (paperback) © June 2021
Christine de Pizan’s Advice for Princes in Middle English Translation: Stephen Scrope’s The Epistle of Othea and the Anonymous Lytle Bibell of Knighthod
Edited by Misty Schieberle
One of the most popular mirrors for princes, Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea (Letter of Othea) circulated widely in England. Speaking through Othea, the goddess of wisdom and prudence, in the guise of instructing Hector of Troy, Christine advises rulers, defends women against misogyny, and articulates complex philosophical and theological ideals. This volume brings together for the first time the two late medieval English translations, Stephen Scrope's precise translation The Epistle of Othea and the anonymous Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod, once criticized as a flawed translation. With substantial introductions and comprehensive explanatory notes that attend to literary and manuscript traditions, this volume contributes to the reassessment of how each English translator grappled with adapting a French woman's text to English social, political, and literary contexts.
ISBN 978-1-58044-385-2 (paperback) © May 2020
Edited by Elizabeth Melick, Susanna Fein, and David Raybin
This edition contains four Middle English Charlemagne romances from the Otuel cycle: Roland and Vernagu, Otuel a Knight, Otuel and Roland, and Duke Roland and Sir Otuel of Spain. A translation of the romances' source, the Anglo-French Otinel, is also included. The romances center on conflicts between Frankish Christians and various Saracen groups. In addition to Charlemagne and Roland, each romance features a Saracen character: either the kind but loathsome giant Vernagu or Otuel, Vernagu's handsome and sharp-tongued nephew. The romances deal with issues of racial and religious difference, conversion, and faith-based violence.
ISBN 978-1-58044-388-3 (paperback) © January 2020
Edited by Megan L. Cook and Elizaveta Strakhov
This volume brings together new editions of both texts of John Lydgate’s fifteenth-century poem, The Dance of Death, with related Middle English verse from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It also includes a new translation of Lydgate’s French source, the Danse macabre. Together, these poems showcase the power and versatility of the danse macabre motif, offering a vivid window into life and death in late medieval Europe. In vivid, often grotesque, and darkly humorous terms, these poems ponder life’s fundamental paradox: while we know that we all must die, we cannot imagine our own death.
ISBN 978-1-58044-380-7(paperback) © October 2019
Guillaume de Machaut, The Complete Poetry and Music, Volume 2: The Boethian Poems Le Remede de Fortune and Le Confort d'Ami
Edited and translated by R. Barton Palmer, Uri Smilansky, and Domenic Leo
A new edition of two of Machaut’s best known dits, the Remede de Fortune (Remedy for Fortune) and the Confort d’ami (Consolation from a Friend), with detailed commentaries on Machaut, these poetical works, the accompanying music, and the art program of the base manuscript.
ISBN 978-1-58044-374-6 (paperback) © 2019
ISBN 978-1-58044-375-3 (hardback) © 2019
David John Parkinson
At the end of the fifteenth century, Gavin Douglas devised his ambitious dream vision "The Palyce of Honour" in part to signal a new scope to Scottish literary culture. While deeply versed in Chaucer's writings, Douglas identified Ovid's "Metamorphoses" as a particularly timely model in the light of contemporary humanist scholarship. For all its comedy, "The Palyce of Honour" stands as a reminder to James IV of Scotland that poetry casts a powerful light upon the arts of rule.
ISBN 978-1-58044-372-2 (paperback) © 2018
ISBN 978-1-58044-373-9 (hardback) © 2018
Rhiannon Purdie and Emily Wingfield
These six poems explore some of the courtly and chivalric themes that preoccupied late medieval Scottish society. The volume includes Sir David Lyndsay's "Historie and Testament of Squyer Meldrum," as well as his "Answer to the Kingis Flyting"; and three anonymous fifteenth-century poems: "Balletis of the Nine Nobles," "Complaint for the Death of Margaret, Princess of Scotland," and "Talis of the Fyve Bestes."
ISBN 978-1-58044-332-6(paperback) © 2018
ISBN 978-1-58044-342-5 (hardback) © 2018
Edited by Jacques Boogaart, translated by R. Barton Palmer and Jacques Boogaart, with art historical commentary by Domenic Leo
A new edition of Machaut's twenty-three motets, based on manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque nationale fonds français 1584, with an introduction presenting a fresh appraisal of these works, an art-historical study of the manuscript illumination that accompanies them, as well as full commentaries for each motet and English translations of their lyrics.
ISBN 978-1-58044-287-9 (paperback) © 2018
ISBN 978-1-58044-302-9 (hardback) © 2018
The "Digby Play of Mary Magdalene" is a rare surviving example of the Middle English saint play. It provides a window on the deep embedding of biblical drama and performance in late medieval devotional practices, social aspiration and critique, and religious discourses. Fully annotated and extensively glossed, this edition is an essential resource for the study of late medieval English religious drama.
ISBN 978-1-58044-285-5 (paperback) © 2018
ISBN 978-1-58044-301-2 (hardback) © 2018
Garrett P. J. Epp
The Towneley plays are a collection of biblical plays in the Huntington Library's MS HM 1, a manuscript once owned by the Towneley family of Towneley Hall, Lancashire. Once thought to constitute a cycle of plays from the town of Wakefield in Yorkshire's West Riding, the collection includes some of the best-known examples of medieval English drama, including the much-anthologized "Second Shepherds Play."
ISBN 978-1-58044-283-1 (paperback) © 2018
ISBN 978-1-58044-304-3 (hardback) © 2018
"Sir Torrent of Portingale" is a romance written to entertain fifteenth-century audiences with action-packed tales of love and adventure. It is a story about the lovers Torrent, a young knight from Portugal, and Desonell, the feisty and resourceful daughter of a tyrannical king. Adventures include fights with dragons, giants, and savage beasts; perilous sea journeys; magic horses and swords; sieges and wars in the Holy Land. This new edition collates the surviving manuscript and print fragments with commentary and notes.
ISBN 978-1-58044-250-3 (paperback) © 2017
The "Fabula duorum mercatorum," a romance that in its Boethian sensibility and treatment of love and friendship bears comparison to Chaucer's great works "Troilus and Criseyde" and "The Knight's Tale," is one of Lydgate's most accomplished works. In "Guy of Warwick," Lydgate breaks with romance tradition, presenting the heroic English knight-pilgrim and his last great battle against the dread giant Colbrond from an historical point of view.
ISBN 978-1-58044-246-6 (paperback) © 2016
Edited by Emily Rebekah Huber and Elizabeth Robertson
"The Katherine Group" brings together for the first time newly edited and translated versions of three dynamic saints' lives, The Lives of Saints Katherine, Margaret and Juliana; a quirky but rhetorically persuasive guide to virginity, "Hali Meidenhad"; and a psychologically astute sermon, "Sawles Warde" ("The Guardianship of the Soul"). These works are important witnesses to the development of Middle English writing after the Conquest and to the rigorous anchoritic spiritual life pursued by female recluses in medieval England.
ISBN 978-1-58044-248-0 (paperback) © 2016
The Complete Poetry and Music of Guillaume de Machaut, Volume 1: The Debate Poems: Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, Le Lay de Plour
Edited by Prof. R. Barton Palmer and Yolanda Plumley with Domenic Leo and Uri Smilansky
Guillaume de Machaut is the most important poet and composer of late medieval France. His unique and inventive output is the subject of this new, integrated edition of Machaut's complete poetry and music. Volume 1, The Debate Series, presents the two "judgment" poems, which are among his most important artistically in terms of their formal innovations and their influence on contemporaries, notably Geoffrey Chaucer, and the associated "Lay de plour," presented here with its music. This volume includes the French originals and facing English translations.
ISBN: 978-1-58044-252-7 (paperback) © 2016
Edited by James Simpson and Sarah Peverley
As one of only a handful of texts written in the twilight years of Henry VI's reign, John Hardyng's first "Chronicle," written in 18,782 lines of verse and seven folios of prose, offers a compelling insight into the taste, hopes, and anxieties of a late fifteenth-century gentleman who had witnessed, and all too often participated in, each of the key events that defined his era. Completed in 1457, Hardyng's initial Chronicle has previously been largely overlooked in comparison to the more condensed second version, written to promote Richard, Duke of York's claim to the throne.
ISBN 978-1-58044-213-8 (paperback) © 2015
Edited by Peter Larkin
One of the most engaging Middle English crusading poems, "Richard Coer de Lyon" recounts in verse the exploits, both historical and fanciful, of Richard I, king of England. While Richard's participation in the Third Crusade serves as its main subject, the poem disrupts its historical narrative with a number of fabulous interpolations. With a substantial introduction and comprehensive explanatory and textual notes, this new edition of "Richard Coer de Lyon" signally contributes to the reappraisal and understanding of what became—during the centuries-long process of its composition—one of the most popular of medieval romances.
ISBN 978-1-58044-201-5 (paperback) © 2015
Edited by John H. Chandler
"The King of Tars" is a short Middle English poem that emphasizes ideas about race, gender and religion. It is neither a saint's life or a romance, nor a political drama or a miracle tale. Its role as entertainment is undeniable, but that entertainment thinly veils didactic intent that should be read through the lens of religious instruction.
ISBN 978-1-58044-204-6 (paperback) © 2015
Oton de Granson
Edited and translated by Peter Nicholson and Joan Grenier-Winther
Oton de Granson was first acknowledged for his poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer, who called him the "flour of hem that make in Fraunce" [the flower of those that write poetry in France]. Almost certainly a personal friend to both Chaucer and Eustache Deschamps, Granson was among the first and most successful of the poets who were also courtiers. Born to the highest nobility in his native Savoy, he was well known in the courts of both France and England, and he spent the better part of his career in the service of the English king.
ISBN 978-1-58044-206-0 (paperback) © 2015
Edited and translated by Susanna Fein, with David Raybin and Jan Ziolkowski
London, British Library MS Harley 2253 is one of the most important literary books to survive from the English medieval era. In rarity, quality and abundance, its secular love lyrics comprise an unrivaled collection. Intermingled with them are additional treasures for the student of Middle English: contemporary political songs as well as delicate lyrics designed to inspire religious devotion. And digging beyond these English gems, one readily discovers more prizes—less-well-known ones—in French and Latin: four fabliaux (the largest set from medieval England), three lives of Anglo-Saxon saints and a wealth of satires, comedies, debates, interludes, collected sayings, conduct literature, Bible stories, dream interpretations and pilgrim guides. Rich in texts in three languages, the book's overall range is quite astounding. The Ludlow scribe, compiler and copyist, shows himself to have been a man of unusual curiosity, acquisitiveness and discerning connoisseurship.
ISBN 978-1-58044-205-0 (paperback) © 2015
ISBN 978-1-588044-198-8 (paperback) © 2014
ISBN 978-1-588044-199-5 (paperback) © 2014
Edited by Eve Salisbury and James Weldon
"Lybeaus Desconus" (the Fair Unknown) is the mid-fourteenth-century Middle English version of the classic narrative of the handsome and mysterious young outsider who comes to the court of King Arthur to prove himself worthy of joining Arthur's knights. The young knight is tested in a variety of ways, and in the course of this testing he learns both chivalric codes of conduct and the truth of his parentage. Six extant manuscripts of the poem attest to its popularity, placing it in company with "Guy of Warwick," "Bevis of Hampton" and "Sir Isumbras" among the most popular of Middle English Romances. The current edition offers readers a chance to compare two manuscript versions of the poem, one preserved in Lambeth MS 306 and the other in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples.
ISBN 978-1-58044-195-7 (paperback) © 2013
Edited by Russell A. Peck, with Latin translations by Andrew Galloway
The complete text of John Gower's poem is a three-volume edition, including all Latin components—with translations—of this bilingual text and extensive glosses, bibliography and explanatory notes. Volume 1 contains the Prologue and Books 1 and 8, in effect the overall structure of Gower's poem. Volume 2 contains Books 2, 3 and 4, which follow in their structure the outline of Vice and its children found in the early French poem the "Mirour de l’Omme." Volume 3 contains Books 5, 6 and 7, which follow another kind of development as Gower shifts from romance banter and formulaic confession to philosophical inquiry.
Volume 1, Second Edition
ISBN 978-1-58044-102-5 (paperback) © 2006
Volume 2, Second Edition
ISBN 978-1-58044-179-7 (paperback) © 2013
ISBN 1-58044-092-4 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by Melissa M. Furrow
A "bourde" is an English comedic poem similar to a French fabliau but with a moralizing element and less of an emphasis on violence. In this fresh edition of ten Middle English bourdes, Melissa M. Furrow "aims to put funny (or would-be funny) Middle English poems under the eyes of a much broader readership" than the scholarly researchers she appealed to in her earlier edition of many of the same poems. This collection is specifically designed for students, and has contextualizing introductions, copious notes, glosses, and a glossary.
ISBN 978-1-588044-192-6 (paperback) © 2013
Edited by John T. Sebastian
The Croxton play, which survives in a single sixteenth-century copy, dramatizes the physical abuse by five Muhammad-worshipping Syrian Jews of a Host, the bread consecrated by a priest during the Christian Mass. The text is the work of a playwright possessed of a tremendous theatrical imagination, notwithstanding his choice of subject matter.
ISBN 978-1-58044-181-0 (paperback) © 2012
The Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf: A Dual-Language Edition from Latin and Middle English Printed Editions
Edited by Nancy Mason Bradbury and Scott Bradbury
The two texts of the dialogue presented here, a Latin version printed c. 1488 and a Middle English translation printed in 1492, preserve lively, entertaining and revealing exchanges between the Old Testament wisdom figure Solomon and Marcolf, a medieval peasant who is ragged and foul-mouthed but quick-witted and verbally astute. The "Dialogue" was a best-seller of its day; Latin versions survive in some twenty-seven manuscripts and forty-nine early printed editions, and the work was translated into a wide variety of late medieval vernaculars, including German, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, English and Welsh.
ISBN 978-1-58044-180-3 (paperback) © 2012
Edited by James H. Morey
In the first modern edition of the poem since 1863, James H. Morey presents The Prik of Conscience to a new audience of students of the Middle Ages. The famous fourteenth century poem leads its audience on a path of penance. Attributed to the mystic Richard Rolle, it became one of the most popular poems in medieval England and appears in about 130 manuscripts, more than any other Middle English poem. This edition is the first to offer extensive annotations and a gloss, making it accessible to students at all levels of proficiency in Middle English.
ISBN 978-1-58044-172-8 (paperback) © 2012
Edited by Clifford Davidson
The feast of Corpus Christi, celebrated annually on Thursday after Trinity Sunday, was devoted to the Eucharist, and the normal practice was to have solemn processions through the city with the Host, the consecrated wafer that was believed to have been transformed into the true body and blood of Jesus. In this way the "cultus Dei" thus celebrated allowed the people to venerate the Eucharistic bread in order that they might be stimulated to devotion and brought symbolically, even mystically into a relationship with the central moments of salvation history.
ISBN 978-1-58044-162-9 (paperback) © 2011
Edited and translated by Michael Livingston
Like the Bible upon which it is based, the metrical paraphrase is unlikely to be a text read cover-to-cover by the faint-hearted. The paraphrase is, in several ways, a remarkable artifact of the Chaucerian period, one that can reveal a great deal about vernacular biblical literature in Middle English, about readership and lay understandings of the Bible, about the relationship between Christians and Jews in late medieval England, about the environment in which the Lollards and other reformers worked, about perceived roles of women in history and in society and even about the composition of medieval drama.
ISBN 978-1-58044-150-6 (paperback) © 2011
Edited and translated by R.F. Yeager
Gower's "Traitié" and "Cinkante Balades" are the only extant formes fixes ("fixed forms," that is, fourteenth-century French lyrics, essentially the balade, rondeau and virelai, developed as literary styles from thirteenth-century dances) that we can be assured were written by a native Englishman, those of "Ch" (and Chaucer's "many a song and many a leccherous lay" - presumably in French) notwithstanding.
ISBN 978-1-58044-155-1 (paperback) © 2011
Edited by David J. Parkinson
In this new edition of the poems of Robert Henryson, David Parkinson offers editions of Henryson's "Fables," "The Testament of Cresseid," "Orpheus and Eurydice" and twelve shorter poems (grouped according to the strength of their attribution to Henryson), as well as the glosses and explanatory and textual notes characteristic of Middle English Texts series volumes.
ISBN 978-1-58044-139-1 (paperback) © 2010
Edited by David N. Klausner
"The Castle of Perseverance," like the other surviving morality plays, deals allegorically with the life of man, his struggle against temptation and sin and his hope of final redemption. The play begins before Mankind's birth and concludes with his salvation after death (presented as a close call), and features the traditional three enemies of Mankind (the World, the Flesh and the Devil) and his two advisors (the Good Angel and the Bad Angel).
ISBN 978-1-58044-149-0 (paperback) © 2010
Edited by Kathleen M. Ashley and Gerard NeCastro
"Mankind" is without a doubt the most amusing and controversial morality play surviving from fifteenth-century England. As an allegory about the vulnerable situation in which most people find themselves—torn between good judgment and the temptation to misbehave—the play's moral action is conventional.
ISBN 978-1-58044-140-7 (paperback) © 2010
Edited by Claire Sponsler
This book presents a large sampling of the dramatic texts of John Lydgate, the preeminent poet of fifteenth-century England. These verses are, as Claire Sponsler notes in her introduction, "of great importance for literary and theatrical history."
ISBN 978-1-58044-148-3 (paperback) © 2010
Edited by David N. Klausner
This volume completes the presentation of the five surviving Middle English morality plays. In addition to the texts of "The Pride of Life" and "Wisdom," Klausner's edition includes two appendices which provide the texts of primary sources for the two plays as well as appropriate music which may have accompanied performances, especially "Wisdom."
ISBN 978-1-58044-134-6 (paperback) © 2009
John the Blind Audelay
Edited by Susanna Fein
[Audelay's] idiosyncratic devotional tastes, interesting personal life history, and declared political affiliations—loyalty to king, upholder of estates, anxiety over heresy—make him worthy of careful study beside his better-known contemporaries. The Audelay manuscript also contains unique copies of other alliterative poems of the ornate style seen in "Gawain and the Green Knight" and "The Pistel of Swete Susan."
ISBN 978-1-58044-131-5 (paperback) © 2009
Edited by Jenny Adams
Despite its title, Caxton's "Game and Playe of the Chesse" does not, in fact, have much to say about a game or about playing it. Instead, the work uses the chessboard and its pieces to allegorize a political community whose citizens contribute to the common good.
ISBN 978-1-58044-130-8 (paperback) © 2009
Edited by James I. Wimsatt, Revised Edition
On several counts, one particular collection of French lyrics made in France in the late fourteenth century, University of Pennsylvania MS 15, is the most likely repository of Chaucer's French poems. It is the largest manuscript anthology extant of fourteenth-century French lyrics in the formes fixes (balade, rondeaux, virelay, lay and five-stanza chanson) with by far the largest number of works of unknown authorship.
ISBN 978-1-58044-132-2 (paperback) © 2009
Edited by George Shuffelton
Since its rediscovery by nineteenth-century scholarship, Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 61 has never been ignored, though it has also not gained a great deal of notoriety beyond the scholars of Middle English romance. The manuscript has also been singled out as an example of the reading material popular with middle-class English families in the later Middle Ages.
ISBN 978-1-58044-129-2 (paperback) © 2008
Edited by Anne B. Thompson
Composed in rhyming English verse, the Northern homily cycle is the earliest and most complete work of its kind (Gospel paraphrases with homilies on the theme of the Gospel texts), its widespread and enduring popularity witnessed by three distinct recensions and twenty surviving manuscripts ranging from the early fourteenth to the mid-fifteenth centuries. The collection was intended to accompany the Gospel lessons that were read every Sunday as part of the mass.
ISBN 978-1-58044-126-1 (paperback) © 2008
Edited by Edward E. Foster, Second Edition
In "A Manual of the Writings in Middle English," "Amis and Amiloun," "Robert of Cisyle" and "Sir Amadace" are classified by Lillian Herlands Hornstein as legendary romances of didactic intent, which does not mean that they are devoid of liveliness or interest.
ISBN 978-1-58044-125-4 (paperback) © 2007
Edited by J. Allan Mitchell
"The Temple of Glas" takes the form of an elusive and suspenseful—but for that reason all the more sensational—dream vision that demands close attention to detail and the dynamic way in which the meaning of events unfolds. Seducing readers with possibilities remains what the poem does best, and that special magnetism speaks not only to the provenance and textual history of Lydgate's text but also to its literary qualities.
ISBN 978-1-58044-117-9 (paperback) © 2007
Edited by Tamarah Kohanski and C. David Benson
"The Book of John Mandeville" has tended to be neglected by modern teachers and scholars, yet this intriguing and copious work has much to offer the student of medieval literature, history and culture. [It] was a contemporary bestseller, providing readers with exotic information about locales from Constantinople to China and about the social and religious practices of peoples such as the Greeks, Muslims and Brahmins.
ISBN 978-1-58044-113-1 (paperback) © 2007
Edited by Douglas Sugano with assistance by Victor I. Scherb
In the late 1400s in eastern England, a scribe was in the process of compiling a large dramatic manuscript of over two hundred vellum folios. The manuscript contains components of an independent Mary Play, parts one and two of an independent Passion Play and an independent Assumption of Mary Play, as well as ten play subjects that appear in no other English cycles.
ISBN 978-1-58044-116-2 (paperback) © 2007
Edited by Clifford Davidson, Martin W. Walsh and Ton J. Broos
Faced with death's certainty—and the uncertainty of the time of its coming, particularly in a historical period of widespread plague and other afflictions—as well as the inevitability of the hereafter, what is one to do? "Everyman" speaks to this dilemma.
ISBN 978-1-58044-106-3 (paperback) © 2007
Edited by John William Sutton
At the forefront of the medieval wisdom tradition was "The Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers," a long prose text that purports to be a compendium of lore collected from biblical, classical and legendary philosophers and sages. "Dicts and Sayings" was a well-known work that traveled across many lands and was translated into many languages.
ISBN 978-1-58044-105-6 (paperback) © 2006
Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour, Second Edition
Edited by Harriet Hudson
"Sir Isumbras," "Octavian," "Sir Eglamour of Artois" and "Sir Tryamour" are important works in a major literary development of the fourteenth century: the flourishing of Middle English popular romance. These four narratives were among the most popular; all survive in multiple manuscripts and continued to circulate in print through the sixteenth century.
ISBN 978-1-58044-111-7 (paperback) © 2006
Sentimental and Humorous Romances: Floris and Blancheflour, Sir Degrevant, The Squire of Low Degree, The Tournament of Tottenham, and The Feast of Tottenham
Edited by Erik Kooper
This volume presents a unique collection of Middle English romances, each with a different view of society, ranging from a tale of oriental wonders ("Floris and Blancheflour") to excellent examples of the burlesque ("The Tournament of Tottenham" and "The Feast of Tottenham").
ISBN 978-1-58044-103-2 (paperback) © 2006
Edited by Kathleen Forni
The poems in this volume were prized and preserved because of their association with Chaucer’s name and have been, paradoxically, almost entirely ignored by modern readers for the same reason. The various genres represented in this sampler attest to the diversity of late medieval literary tastes and to the flexibility of the courtly idiom.
ISBN 1-58044-096-7 (paperback) © 2005
The Minor Latin Works, edited and translated by R.F. Yeager
In Praise of Peace, edited by Michael Livingston
Gower's achievement in writing substantially in all three primary languages of his time—Anglo-French, English and Latin—was a source of pride to others and, undoubtedly, to him too: into the final years of his life he continued to produce poetry in all three languages. "In Praise of Peace" [is] in the same position as the shorter Latin works edited and translated in this volume: ignored, neglected reduced or relegated to the dusty realm of footnotes.
ISBN 1-58044-097-5 (paperback) © 2005
Edited by Linne R. Mooney and Mary-Jo Arn
This volume reflects the wide scope of these "prison poems" by bringing together a new edition of "The Kingis Quair," a selection from Charles d'Orleans' "Fortunes Stabilnes," a poem by George Ashby, who was imprisoned in London's Fleet prison, and the poems of two other poets, both anonymous, who wrote about physical and/or emotional imprisonment.
ISBN 1-58044-093-2 (paperback) © 2005
Edited by E. Gordon Whatley, with Anne B. Thompson and Robert K. Upchurch
This volume is conceived as a complement to another Middle English Texts series text, Sherry Reames' "Middle English Legends of Women Saints." This selection "is intended to be broadly representative of saints' lives in Middle English and of the classic types of hagiographic legend as these were presented to the lay public and less-literate clergy of late medieval England."
ISBN 1-58044-089-4 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by Michael Livingston
The poem chronicles a historical war, and it is this historical quality that must stand out: the poem not only has resonances of the bloodshed that battle inevitably brings, but it also is, in a very literal sense, history. That is to say, the war is over. The vengeance of Jesus has been accomplished.
ISBN 1-58044-090-8 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by John Conlee
Dunbar's poems offer vivid depictions of late medieval Scottish society and serve up a striking pageant of colorful figures at the court of James IV (r. 1488-1513), with which he was associated for much of his adult life. The poems are remarkable both for their diversity and variability and for their multiplicity of voices, styles, and tones. The great variety of poems within Dunbar's canon includes religious hymns of exaltation, moral poems on a wide range of serious themes, comic and parodic poems of extreme salaciousness and scatological coarseness, general satires against the times, and satires with much more specific targets, often a single individual.
ISBN 1-58044-086-X (paperback) © 2004
Edited by Dana M. Symons
The poems in this volume were all attributed to Chaucer by early compilers or editors of his work in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries and were not removed from the Chaucer canon until the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, when they became identified simply as Chaucerian.
ISBN 1-58044-087-8 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by Alison Wiggins
The poem, which survives only in the Auchinleck Manuscript, deals with the later years of Guy's life, beginning with his return to Warwick after having established himself on the Continent as a pre-eminent model of knighthood. After his marriage, however, he is stricken by remorse for the very actions that have brought him fame, and he sets out anonymously on a series of pilgrimages of atonement.
ISBN 1-58044-088-6 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by Edward E. Foster
Through these fourteenth-century Middle English poems, readers can experience something of the controversies that surfaced and resurfaced even after Aquinas had articulated his doctrine of the Communion of Saints. All three poems were quite popular, as was the doctrine of Purgatory itself.
ISBN 1-58044-082-7 (paperback) © 2004
Edited by David R. Carlson, with a verse translation by A.G. Rigg
The poem that Richard Maidstone wrote on the metropolitan crisis of 1392 reports information about the royal entry that concluded the crisis in greater detail than any other source. . . . [It] is above all an ideologically driven intervention . . . addressing a particular political circumstance.
ISBN 1-58044-080-0 (paperback) © 2003
Edited by Anne McKim
"The Wallace" catalogs the sheer brutality of war. We are regaled with such detailed accounts of the sacking of towns and the burning down of buildings full of screaming inhabitants that the smells and sounds, as well as the terrible sights, of war are graphically conveyed.
ISBN 1-58044-076-2 (paperback) © 2003
Edited by Sherry L. Reames, with the assistance of Martha G. Blalock and Wendy R. Larson
This book presents a collection of saints' lives intended to suggest the diversity of possibilities beneath the supposedly fixed and predictable surfaces of the legends, using multiple retellings of the same legend to illustrate that medieval readers and listeners did not just passively receive saints’ legends but continually and actively appropriated them.
ISBN 1-58044-046-0 (paperback) © 2003
Edited by Eve Salisbury
The disparate texts in this anthology, produced in England between the late thirteenth and the early sixteenth centuries, challenge, and in some cases parody and satirize, the institution of marriage. The texts bridge generic categories.
ISBN 1-58044-035-5 (paperback) © 2002
Edited by Sarah Stanbury
"Pearl" resists identification by author, date, occasion or place of composition; still it is almost unanimously hailed as one of the masterpieces of our literature, so skilled is its author, so eloquent its language.
ISBN 1-58044-033-9 (paperback) © 2001
Edited by Robert R. Edwards
John Lydgate's "The Siege of Thebes," written c. 1421–22, is the only Middle English poetic text that recounts the fratricidal struggle between Oedipus's sons Eteocles and Polynices as they contend for the lordship of Thebes. The text reflects the problem of poetic authority and the political and ethical themes of Lydgate's poetic career in the 1420s, when he was writing as a Lancastrian propagandist and as unofficial royal poet.
ISBN 1-58044-074-6 (paperback) © 2001
Edited by Robert Hasenfratz
"Ancrene Wisse" or the "Anchoresses' Guide" written sometime roughly between 1225 and 1240, represents a revision of an earlier work, usually called the "Ancrene Riwle" or "Anchorites' Rule," a book of religious instruction for three lay women of noble birth, sisters, who had themselves enclosed as anchoresses somewhere in the West Midlands, perhaps somewhere between Worcester and Wales.
ISBN 1-58044-070-3 (paperback) © 2000
Edited by Thomas H. Bestul
Walter Hilton's "The Scale of Perfection" maintains a secure place among the major religious treatises composed in fourteenth-century England. This guide to the contemplative life, written in two books of more than 40,000 words each, is notable for its careful explorations of its religious themes and also as a monument of Middle English prose.
ISBN 1-58044-069-X (paperback) © 2000
Edited by James M. Dean
The texts, both anonymous, are "Richard the Redeless," which concerns the governmental style of Richard II, and "Mum and the Sothsegger," which addresses social issues in the reign of Henry IV. Both works reveal that alliterative poetry in the "Piers Plowman" tradition continued to be the chief vehicle for political and social criticism at the turn of the fourteenth century.
ISBN 1-58044-068-1 (paperback) © 2000
Edited by Karen A. Winstead
In telling the story of the life of the virgin martyr Katherine, Capgrave uses many of the tropes that mark the enormously popular genre of hagiography as it was written throughout the Middle Ages. Capgrave inserts digressions on Greek and Roman history; on just and unjust rule and justifiable vs. unjustifiable rebellion; on child care; on medieval English feasts, jousts and pageants; and on the role(s) of women.
ISBN 1-58044-053-3 (paperback) © 1999
Edited by Charles R. Blyth
"The Regiment of Princes," written about 1410–11, was composed at a time when England was still feeling the consequences of the deposition of Richard II. Essentially it is addressed to a prince on the subject of his governance, but it exhibits considerable generic instability and thus raises fundamental questions about how we should understand the tone of considerable portions of the poem.
ISBN 1-58044-023-1 (paperback) © 1999
The Assembly of Gods: Le Assemble de Dyeus, or Banquet of Gods and Goddesses, with the Discourse of Reason and Sensuality
Edited by Jane Chance
"The Assembly of Gods" is an anonymous English dream vision allegory produced, probably, in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Within the framework of the dream vision he blends didacticism with the mythological and the courtly, and seeks to bring Reson and Sensualyté into accord by means of an assembly of the classical gods that is called to adjudicate the relative merits of Discorde's desire to overthrow Vertu.
ISBN 1-58044-022-3 (paperback) © 1999
Edited by Ronald B. Herzman, Graham Drake and Eve Salisbury
The romances in this volume contain some of the finest imaginative work of what is known as the Matter of England, the non-Arthurian romances that deal largely with English subjects and locales. These romances span a broad period of the Middle Ages, from c. 1225 ("King Horn") to c. 1355–99 ("Athelston").
ISBN 1-58044-017-7 (paperback) © 1999
Edited by Stephen F. Page
John Metham's "Amoryus and Cleopes" can be seen as a key piece in the reception of Chaucer's works. Metham does not slavishly imitate Chaucer, however; instead, he adapts features of the master’s works to his own ultimately moral purpose, fusing them with elements of classical tale, courtly and popular romance, encyclopedic compendium, hagiography, mirror for princes and encomium, to create a tightly constructed late-medieval romance.
ISBN 1-58044-016-9 (paperback) © 1999
Edited by Karen Saupe
The poems selected for this volume provide a sampling of the rich tradition of Marian devotion as expressed in Middle English. They range widely in form, tone and aesthetic quality. Taken together, they express the full range of a people’s effort to voice its anxieties and joys through Mary.
ISBN 1-58044-006-1 (paperback) © 1998
Edited by John Conlee
The Middle English "Prose Merlin" gives students of medieval Arthurian literature access—though at one remove—to the Merlin section of the Old French Vulgate Cycle, an interconnected set of Arthurian works composed during the first half of the thirteenth century. Written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, it is a treasure trove of characters, incidents and motifs, many of which are found nowhere else in Arthurian literature.
ISBN 1-58044-015-0 (paperback) © 1998
Edited by R. Allen Shoaf
This edition of "The Testament of Love" is the first to be published since W. W. Skeat undertook the task in 1897. . . . [I]n this edition, a diplomatic transcription of Thynne [1532 edition] is printed with, contrapuntally, a pointed version of the text which represents the efforts of R. Allen Shoaf, the editor, to construe it.
ISBN 1-58044-001-0 (paperback) © 1998
Edited by Robert R. Edwards
"Troy Book" is one of the most ambitious attempts in medieval vernacular poetry to recount the story of the Trojan war. John Lydgate, monk of the great Benedictine abbey of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, began composing the poem in October 1412 on commission from Henry, Prince of Wales, later King Henry V and he completed it in 1420.
ISBN 1-879288-99-0 (paperback) © 1998
Edited by Susanna Greer Fein
These moral love songs and laments illustrate how, in the devout medieval English sensibility, doctrine was vitally connected to affective receptivity. Narrative moods range from love-longing and passion to bitter grief and sorrowful lament, feelings that devolve from the intimately personal state of being God's created creature, individually answerable to divine law and love.
ISBN 1-879288-97-4 (paperback) © 1998
Edited by Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, with contributions by Thomas E. Kelly, Russell A. Peck, Michael Swanton and Paul Whitfield White
Here is a comprehensive collection of materials that deal with Robin Hood and such other "outlaw" figures as Hereward the Wake, Eustache the Monk and Fouke le Fitz Waryn. In this text the figure of Robin Hood can be viewed in historical perspective, from the early accounts in the chronicles through the ballads, plays and romances that grew around his fame and impressed him on our fictional and historical imaginations.
ISBN 1-58044-067-3 (paperback) © 1997; 2nd ed. © 2000
Edited by Lynn Staley
Written probably in the late 1430s, "The Book of Margery Kempe" is one of the most astonishing documents of late medieval English life. Kempe examines the fundamental conflicts and tensions of that world by describing her gradual and voluntary movement away from worldly prestige.
ISBN 1-879288-72-9 (paperback) © 1996
Edited by Patrick J. Gallacher
Since it was written "The Cloud" has attracted the attention of a diverse range of readers, from Robert Bateman, an influential seventeenth-century Baptist, to the novelist Aldous Huxley and the psychologist Ira Progoff. Here a new edition makes the work available to contemporary readers.
ISBN 1-879288-89-3 (paperback) © 1997
Edited by James M. Dean
The authors of the poems and documents, mostly anonymous or pseudonymous, speak in the traditional language of complaint and satire; but the outlines of their anxiety are fairly clear. This volume contains five sections: Poems of Political Prophecy; Anticlerical Poems and Documents; Literature of Richard II's Reign and the Peasants' Revolt; Poems against Simony and the Abuse of Money; and Plowman Writings.
ISBN 1-879288-64-8 (paperback) © 1996
Edited by Richard H. Osberg
The eleven extant poems attributed to Laurence Minot celebrate a sequence of English victories on the Scottish border and on the continent between 1333, the Battle of Halidon Hill, and the surrender of the French town of Guînes in 1352. The poems appear to have been written shortly after the events they commemorate.
ISBN 1-879288-67-2 (paperback) © 1996
Edited by Anne Laskaya and Eve Salisbury
Breton Lays—those poems produced by or after the fashion of Marie de France in the twelfth century and which claim to be "literary versions of lays sung by ancient Bretons to the accompaniment of the harp"—served many functions. The poems edited in this volume, were distinctly "English" Breton lays "largely because they point to a renewed interest in the nuclear English family and the shaping of distinctly English family values."
ISBN 1-879288-62-1 (paperback) © 1995
Edited by Thomas Hahn
This volume is the first affordable, modern collection of all eleven of the known Middle English Gawain tales, and aims to make these texts accessible to a wider, contemporary audience. These poems—"The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle," "Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle," "The Avowyng of Arthur," "The Awyntrs off Arthur," "The Knightly Tale of Gologras and Gawain," "The Greene Knight," "The Turke and Sir Gawain," "The Marriage of Sir Gawain," "The Carle of Carlisle," "The Jeaste of Sir Gawain" and "King Arthur and King Cornwall"—are united by their common concern with the theme of chivalry. Sir Gawain was by far the most popular of Arthur’s knights in medieval England, and the verses collected here offer a window not only into English views on Gawain but also attitudes towards the knightly ideal and chivalry.
ISBN 1-879288-59-1 (paperback) © 1995
Edited by Mary Flowers Braswell
This volume contains the only known English version of Chrétien de Troyes’s romance of the naïve knight Perceval, "Sir Perceval of Galles." The work uses Perceval’s ridiculous behavior as a late medieval satire of courtliness. Accompanying this tale is "Ywain and Gawain," a translation of a second Chrétien poem, "Le Chevalier au Lion." Unlike "Sir Perceval," this poem extols the virtues of chivalry and honor.
ISBN 1-879288-60-5 (paperback) © 1995
Edited by Larry D. Benson, revised by Edward E. Foster
Professor Benson's edition of the "Stanzaic Morte Arthur" and the "Alliterative Morte Arthure," has been long out of print. Now his edition of these important Middle English poems, revised and updated by Professor Edward E. Foster to take account of recent scholarship, is again made available to students.
ISBN 1-879288-38-9 (paperback) © 1994
Edited by Alan Lupack
This new edition makes the poems available to students of English romance and of the Matter of Britain and enables us to enrich our sense of the texture of English treatments of the vast body of legends that grew around the court of Arthur.
ISBN 1-879288-50-8 (paperback) © 1994
Edited by Georgia Ronan Crampton
This first-person account of the visions experienced by Julian of Norwich in May of 1373 is remarkable for its vivid prose and as an example both of early autobiographical writing in the vernacular and of a spiritual document.
ISBN 1-879288-45-1 (paperback) © 1994
Edited by John M. Bowers
When Geoffrey Chaucer died in 1400, his massive project "The Canterbury Tales" lay unfinished and unpublished. This volume includes five such works that date from the fifteenth century and survive in at least one manuscript collection of Chaucer's Tales: John Lydgate's Prologue to the Siege of Thebes, The Ploughman's Tale, The Cook's Tale, Spurious Links and The Canterbury Interlude and Merchant's Tale of Beryn.
ISBN 1-879288-23-0 (paperback) © 1992
Edited by David Parkinson
Gavin Douglas's "The Palis of Honoure" is a fascinating but still rather neglected dream poem from early sixteenth-century Scotland. "The Palis of Honoure" impresses even modern readers by means of its sheer verve and inventiveness.
ISBN 1-879288-25-7 (paperback) © 1992
This volume has been superseded by The Palyce of Honour (2018).
Edited by Warren Ginsberg
The poems are complex and provide insight into fourteenth-century culture. As the editor observes, "the poem's perspectives are truly dizzying: on the one hand, economics, politics, ethics and social relations are seen as an interrelated set of universal, timeless principles; on the other, they appear as actual, contingent conditions that have resulted from specific acts in history."
ISBN 1-879288-26-5 (paperback) © 1992
Edited by James M. Dean
The six Middle English poems included here attack ecclesiastical corruption; most of the poems were written by disgruntled Lollards about clerics and friars in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. "Piers the Plowman's Crede" deals with a poor man trying to learn the Apostle's Creed from friars, who cannot teach him and only want his money; eventually the man can only learn the creed from Piers the Plowman. "The Plowman's Tale" casts an anticlerical tale in the mold of one of the Canterbury Tales. "Jack Upland," "Friar Daw's Reply," and "Upland's Rejoinder" comprise a debate over the hypocrisy of friars. Meanwhile, "Why I Can't Be a Nun" decries the sins of nuns in convents.
ISBN 1-879288-05-2 (paperback) © 1991
Edited by Russell A. Peck
This volume makes accessible for students of the Middle Ages Middle English verses about heroic women from the Old Testament. Included are "The Storie of Asneth," "The Pistel of Swete Susan," "The Story of Jephthah and his Daughter," and "The Story of Judith." These poems exhibit the attitudes of Late Medieval England towards heroic women, and offer an unusually positive depiction of Judaism.
ISBN 1-879288-11-7 (paperback) © 1991
Edited by Derek Pearsall
An asset to any study of gender in medieval England, this volume contains three poems that complement each other in their treatments of relations between the sexes. "The Floure and the Leafe" explores the courtly imagery of the flower and leaf, wherein the flower symbolizes the fickleness and shallow attraction characteristic of men, compared to the evergreen persistence of the leaf, likened to the long-suffering of women. Meanwhile, "The Assembly of Ladies" recounts the activities of a group of women while describing the differences between the sexes. Finally, the dream poem "The Isle of Ladies" tells of a male dreamer's interactions with the ladies of an all-female island.
ISBN 0-918720-43-5 (paperback), © 1990
Edited by Alan Lupack
This volume serves as an excellent introduction to the tradition of romances dealing with the matter of France—that is, Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Of the three groups of English Charlemagne romances, the Ferumbras group, the Otuel group and "detached romances," the editor has selected one of each: "The Sultan of Babylon," "The Siege of Milan," and "The Tale of Ralph the Collier."
ISBN 0-918720-44-3 (paperback) © 1990
Guillaume de Machaut, The Complete Poetry and Music, Vol 12: The Ballades
Edited by Yolanda Plumley, Anne Stone, Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel and R. Barton Palmer
Guillaume de Machaut, the most important poet and composer of late medieval France, was a pioneer of a new school of lyric composition. The forty-two ballades that Machaut set to music reflect his most adventurous musical thinking; all but one of them are polyphonic settings and they are the earliest extant examples of a new order of chanson in the intricate Ars nova style associated with the period. This fresh edition of Machaut's ballades is designed to meet the needs of advanced scholars and musicians as well as students and performers new to Machaut's work. The lyrics, with full English translation, are presented at the end of each work. Supporting materials include: an introduction discussing the life of the author and his artistic achievement, providing insights into the poetry and music of the ballades; notes for performance and pronunciation; an art-historical commentary on the accompanying manuscript illuminations; and detailed commentaries, including collation of manuscript variants, for each work.
Guillaume de Machaut, The Complete Poetry and Music, Vol 11: The Rondeaux and Virelais
Edited by Yolanda Plumley, Uri Smilansky, Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel, Anne Stone and R. Barton Palmer
Guillaume de Machaut, the most important poet and composer of late medieval France, was a pioneer of a new school of lyric composition in his day. His works influenced musicians and poets in France and across Europe in his own time and in the generations that followed. Machaut was instrumental in the development of the so-called 'fixed forms' that dominated secular song composition from ca. 1350 onward. He played a significant role in developing the rondeau and the virelai forms. This fresh edition is designed to meet the needs both of advanced scholars and musicians as well as students and performers new to Machaut's work. The lyrics are presented with full English translation at the end of each work, and supporting materials include: an introduction that discusses the life of the author and his artistic achievement and provides fresh insights into the poetry and music of these songs; notes for performance and pronunciation; an art-historical commentary on the accompanying manuscript illuminations; and detailed commentaries, including collation of manuscript variants, for each work.
Guillaume de Machaut, The Complete Poetry and Music, Vol 10: The Lays
Translated by R. Barton Palmer and edited by Uri Smilansky, Yolanda Plumley and Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel
Guillaume de Machaut, the most important poet and composer of late medieval France, was a pioneer of a new school of lyric composition. Machaut was the last composer to produce a corpus of lays set to music; the lay was considered the most challenging of the so-called 'fixed forms' that dominated song composition in this period and Machaut played a leading role in perfecting the form. This fresh edition of Machaut's lays is designed to meet the needs of advanced scholars and musicians as well as students and performers new to Machaut's work. The lyrics, with full English translation, are presented at the end of each work, and supporting materials include: an introduction discussing the life of the author and his artistic achievement, providing fresh insights into the poetry and music of the lays; notes for performance and pronunciation; an art-historical commentary on the accompanying manuscript illumination; and detailed commentaries, including collation of manuscript variants, for each work.
Le Roman de Saladin: Middle French with Modern English Translation
Edited by Tara Foster, Rebecca A. Wilcox and Marie Lindsay Turner
Available for the first time in modern English translation, the fifteenth-century Roman de Saladin gives a highly romanticized account of the famed sultan and provides a unique perspective on medieval European attitudes toward the Crusades and the “Islamic enemy” that continue to influence Western perceptions to this day. With its engaging story and energetic characters, the romance evokes enough common medieval literary tropes to put it in conversation with other medieval (or modern) texts, but it offers material that is also strikingly different from many of the texts most frequently taught in courses dealing with the Middle Ages. It will prove useful to scholars and instructors in a broad range of disciplines.
Middle English Poems on the Childhood of Jesus
Edited by Mary Dzon
While it is well known that devotion to Christ's humanity and to his merciful mother Mary flourished in the later Middle Ages, the circulation of vernacular legends about Jesus' childhood, about which Scripture says very little, has not been adequately studied. To better understand affective piety, conceptualizations of children, and the various aspects of anti-Judaism in late-medieval England, this volume explores the legends that describe how the young Jesus interacted with those around him in his childhood, specifically, how a playful and vengeful God caused much unrest within his community. This contextual examination of these legends also reveals how devotional narratives overlapped with secular romances, how literature, art, and theology interacted with each other, and how Christ remained a figure of awe and reverence, even as medieval English Christians frequently meditated on a passive Jesus who endured brutal tortures and a shameful death.
John Gower, Vox Clamantis, Vol 1, Books II-IV
Edited and translated by Stephanie Batkie and Matthew W. Irvin
John Gower's Vox Clamantis, a complaint and analysis of medieval English society written in the shadow of the 1381 Peasant Rising, is a major work of Anglo-Latin poetry by one of medieval England's best-known poets. This new facing-page edition and verse translation pays close attention to Gower's poetic forms and wordplay, bringing its lively criticism and rhetorical power to modern audiences. It also provides extensive explanatory notes, exploring Gower's relationship to classical, Biblical, liturgical, and contemporary sources, as well as a critical introduction, which examines Gower's poetic methodology, and the relationship of the Vox to his major poems in English and French.
The Destruction of Jerusalem, or Titus and Vespasian
Edited by Kara L. McShane and Mark J.B. Wright
Within the English fall of Jerusalem tradition, nearly all scholarly attention has gone to Siege of Jerusalem, which has enjoyed critical and pedagogical attention of late. Michael Livingston’s 2004 edition with the Middle English Texts Series/MIP drew attention to the text, and Adrienne Williams Boyarin has recently published a new translation with Broadview Press that appears in the Broadview Anthology of British Literature’s medieval volume (and as a stand-alone volume). With this edition of the Destruction of Jerusalem, we hope to bring the poem (which is extant in more copies than Siege) into the conversation. METS/MIP is precisely the right series and press to publish Destruction. The work would complement METS volumes such as The King of Tars, Richard Coer de Lion, and Crusades romances such as Three Middle English Charlemagne Romances. Indeed, given METS’s broad offerings in Middle English romance, the series is a natural home for Destruction. Destruction would be of tremendous value particularly in courses focused on Crusades traditions, traditions of medieval anti-Semitism, vernacular theology, or late medieval depictions of difference more broadly, matters of considerable scholarly and pedagogical interest to medievalists of late.