First composed in Anglo-Norman French around the end of the thirteenth century, the anonymous prose Brut chronicle became the most popular secular vernacular work, and the most widespread Arthurian work, of the later middle ages in England: repeatedly expanded, revised, and translated, it remained influential for centuries. Yet it has been little studied, in part because of the lack of any full modern edition. This edition of the Oldest Version of the prose Brut, running from the fall of Troy to the death of Henry III in 1272, provides the Anglo-Norman text with facing-page translation and textual apparatus, a comprehensive introduction, and extensive explanatory notes. It makes new contributions, on, for example, the identification and classification of the manuscripts, the identification and analysis of the sources (far more varied and numerous than had been previously recognised), and the probable circumstances of the chronicle's composition. It will enable scholars to make full use of this remarkable resource for the study of Arthurian tradition, contemporary visions of British history, popular thought about society and government in late-medieval England, and the history of reading itself. Professor JULIA MARVIN teaches at the University of Notre Dame.
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