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Newsletter 19

19 February, 2018

Newsletter / Bulletin / Rundschreiben 19

Autumn / Automne / Herbst 2017

9th International Conference, The Medieval Chronicle/ Die mittelalterliche Chronik/ La Chronique au Moyen Age, 2020, Poznan, Poland

Organizing Institutions:

– Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences (Instytut Slawistyki, Polskiej Akademii Nauk)

– Adam Mickiewicz University (Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza)

For more information write to:

Ryszard Grzesik,, or Józef Dobosz,


The Medieval Chronicle Series

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Permanent 50 per cent Discount for MCS members

Members of the MCS are offered a permanent discount of 50 per cent on any volumes of MedChron if these are ordered directly from the publisher at:

To obtain the discount price use the discount code: 70257.


The Medieval Chronicle 11 will appear in November 2017

and then be available from the publisher:


The Medieval Chronicle 12 – In progress

Members are reminded, and in particular the participants of the

2017 Lisbon conference, that they may always submit articles

or short text editions for publication in our series.


New Projects

The Estoria de Espanna Digital

The Estoria de Espanna Digital is an AHRC-financed project to construct a digital edition of the most important medieval Iberian chronicle – the Estoria de Espanna, written by King Alfonso the Wise of Castile and Leon in 1272. To mark the launch of the edition (available at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Biblioteca General Histórica de la Universidad de Salamanca, the Biblioteca de Menéndez Pelayo (Santander) and the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota have simultaneously put on display their manuscripts of the Estoria in an exhibition entitled “El hallazgo del pasado”. The Estoria Digital project, in conjunciton with the Humanities Research Institute of the University of Sheffield, has constructed a digital exhibition to complement these ( The exhibitions take place until mid April.


New Publications


Michele Campopiano and Henry Bainton, eds., Universal Chronicles in the High Middle Ages. Writing History in the Middle Ages 4. York Medieval Press, 2017. 328 pages. ISBN: 978 1 903153 73 4. £ 60.

New perspectives on and interpretations of the popular medieval genre of the universal chronicle.

Found in pre-modern cultures of every era and across the world, from the ancient Near East to medieval Latin Christendom, the universal chronicle is simultaneously one of the most ubiquitous pre-modern cultural forms and one of the most overlooked. Universal chronicles narrate the history of the whole world from the time of its creation up to the then present day, treating the world’s affairs as though they were part of a single organic reality, and uniting various strands of history into a unifed, coherent story. They reveal a great deal about how the societies that produced them understood their world and how historical narrative itself can work to produce that understanding.

The essays here offer new perspectives on the genre, from a number of different disciplines, demonstrating their vitality, flexibility and cultural importance, They reveal them to be deeply political texts, which allowed history-writers and their audiences to locate themselves in space, time and in the created universe. Several chapters address the manuscript context, looking at the innovative techniques of compilation, structure and layout that placed them at the cutting edge of medieval book technology. Others analyse the background of universal chronicles, and identify their circulation amongst different social groups; there are also investigations into their literary discourse, patronage, authorship and diffusion.


Michele Campopiano is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Latin Literature at the University of York

Henry Bainton is Lecturer in High Medieval Literature at the University of York.


Andrews, Tara L. Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle: History as Apocalypse in a Crossroads of Cultures. Series: The Medieval Mediterranean, 108. Leiden: Brill, 2016. E-ISBN: 978 9004330351.

(see also her article ‘The New Age of Prophecy: The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa and Its Place in Armenian Historiography’ in MedChron 6 (2009): 105-23).


Laura Ashe, The Oxford English Literary History. I. 1000-1350. Conquest and Transformation. Oxford University Press, 2017. 486 p. ISBN: 9780199575381. £ 35.

James Simpson, The Oxford English Literary History. II. 1350-1547: Reform and Cultural Revolution. Oxford University Press, 2004. 680 p. ISBN: 9780199265534. £ 35.

Launching the 21st-century successor to the Oxford History of English Literature, these two companion volumes inaugurate a new era in literary history, with an emphasis not just on canonical texts and authors but on the contexts in which literature was written, and its relationship to its period.

Ashe gives a new perspective on the breadth and depth of medieval culture and society. Individual chapters cover particular themes. It is genuinely interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of methods and approaches, and explores works written in a variety of languages, so that the reader encounters literature in the way that contemporaries would have.

Simpson provides a fresh and groundbreaking reassessment of the impact of the Reformation and Renaissance on English literature. Reversing accepted truisms, he shows how the diversity characteristic of medieval literature – in terms of genre, audience, even language itself – was narrowed and simplified by the huge cultural changes of the early 16th century. It ranges from Chaucer, Wyclif, and the Gawain-poet, and a host of less canonical writers and texts, to Wyatt, Leland, and Surrey and their novel poetic forms and new conceptions of history.

Margaret Connolly & Raluca Radulescu, eds. Editing and Interpretation of Middle English Texts. Essays in Honour of William Marx. Texts and Transitions vol. 12. Turnhout: Brepols, 2017. 350 p. ISBN 978-2-503-56847-8. € 85.

These fifteen essays, all published here for the first time, explore issues related to the editing and interpretation of Middle English literature. These include the treatment of all types of evidence (variant readings; punctuation; capitalization; rubrication; physical layout), in relation to both manuscript transmission and the transition from manuscript to print. The editorial representation of these and other aspects constitutes an act of textual interpretation at the most fundamental level, which subsequently influences scholarly understanding. Two major fields of writing, religious texts and chronicles, provide the focus of this enquiry. Major works that receive attention include Trevisa’s translation of the Polychronicon, the Middle English Brut, Piers Plowman, Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, and Mirk’s Festial; a wide range of shorter devotional and historical texts, in both verse and prose, is also considered, as are aspects related to the translation of texts into Middle English. Almost all of the contributors are experienced editors of medieval texts. Some contribute further insights about texts they have edited, whilst others offer new editions of previously unpublished works. Collectively these essays foreground the many and varied matters of interpretation that confront the editor of Middle English texts.

Julia Marvin, The Construction of Vernacular History in the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut Chronicle: The Manuscript Culture of Late Medieval England. Writing History in the Middle Ages 5. York Medieval Press, 2017. 296 pages. ISBN: 978 1 903153 74 1. £ 60.

It is the first full-length interpretive study of the prose Brut tradition, setting its manuscript context alongside textual analysis. Using the Anglo-Norman Oldest Version as a touchstone, it investigates the chronicle’s social ideals, its representation of women, and its distinctive versions of such elements of British history as the Trojan foundation myth, Norman Conquest, and Arthur and Merlin.

In addition to greatly expanding our knowledge of the prose Brut tradition itself, the book challenges common presumptions about popular thought and culture and as a result will, we hope, be of significant use to scholars working in a number of areas in medieval studies.

A full description may be found on its webpage at

Livia Visser-Fuchs, History as Pastime. Jean de Wavrin and His Collection of Chronicles of England. Shaun Tyas Publishing, Donnington, UK. (forthcoming 2018); c. 600 pp.; 16 pp. of colour illustrations; numerous appendices with further details about manuscripts and texts; bibliography; index. £ 40 (there will be a special offer for MCS members).

The Burgundian author Jean de Wavrin (c.1400-c.1477) has been known to historians for a long time, but his work is usually considered derivative and of little importance. Closer study revealed that he had a interesting career, first serving in the Anglo-Burgundian army, then marrying a rich widow and settling down to a quieter life in Lille, and to composing his vast compilation of histories of England. At the same time he became a supplier of romances to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and an avid collector of all kinds of books for himself. A very unusual draughtsman, whom he almost uniquely patronised, was later named after him. Wavrin’s life as a soldier and civilian, ambassador and courtier, is presented as fully as possible and put in context; his library and his interests are analysed; his own book, its creation, use of sources, purpose and value are discussed, and its often beautifully illustrated surviving manuscripts described and explained.


Isabelle Guyot-Bachy, La Flandre et les Flamands au miroir des historiens du royaume (Xe–XVe siècle). Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses universitaires du Septentrion, 2017. 384 pp. ISBN 978-2-7574-1489-7. € 35.

Quel rôle jouèrent les Flamands dans la naissance de la « nation France » ? Que savait de Bouvines, Courtrai, Cassel ou Roosebeke, marqueurs mémoriels de cinq siècles d’histoire entre le comté de Flandre et le royaume de France, le clerc breton ou le noble provençal ? Que disait-on en Normandie ou en Auvergne, de la Flandre, des Flamands, de leur identité mais aussi de leur appartenance au royaume ? Les Français – ou tout au moins leurs élites – partageaient-ils avec le roi et avec ceux qui gravitaient à l’ombre de son pouvoir une perception commune de cette « question flamande » qui, des Carolingiens aux Valois, fut récurrente et souvent brûlante ?

Le récit que l’on poursuit ici est moins celui des événements tels qu’ils se sont déroulés, que celui de la construction « imaginée » du passé qu’offrent les chroniques médiévales et, à leur suite à partir du xvie siècle, une grande variété de textes dont l’ambition fut de raconter à un public appelé peu à peu à former une nation une « histoire de France par la mémoire ».

Laurent Guitton, ‘Fastes et malheurs du métier de favorite: Antoinette de Maignelais, de la cour de France à la cour de Bretagne (1450-1470).’

In Maîtresses et favorites dans les coulisses du pouvoir en Occident, du Moyen Âge à l’époque moderne. Ed. Juliette Dor, Marie-Élisabeth Henneau et Alain Marchandisse (dir.), Actes du colloque international de Liège, 13-14 décembre 2012, Saint-Étienne, Publications de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, 2017.

Keith Busby: see under Ireland.

Livia Visser-Fuchs: see under England.

Ireland / France

Keith Busby, French in Medieval Ireland, Ireland in Medieval French. The Paradox of Two Worlds. Turnhout: Brepols, 2017. 375 p. ISBN: 978-2-503-57021-1. € 110.

This book is a ground-breaking study of the cultural and linguistic consequences of the English invasion of
Ireland in 1169, first analysing in detail French-language texts produced in Ireland before examining the ways in which the country is portrayed in French literature of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries. It incorporates the results of original archival research and is characterized by close attention to linguistic details of expression and communication, as well as historical, codicological, and literary contexts.


Italian Carolingian Historical and Poetic Texts. Edition and translation into English by Luigi Andrea Berto. Pisa: Pisa University Press, 2016.

Luigi Andrea Berto, I raffinati metodi d’indagine e il mestiere dello storico. L’alto medioevo italiano all’inizio del terzo millennio. Mantua: Universitas Studiorum, 2016.


Calls for Papers

Call for contributions: Medieval Chronicles in the Early Modern period

Proposals are invited for contributions to a collection examining the Nachleben, as well as instances of uninterrupted continuation, of Europe’s medieval chronicling traditions from c.1500 to 1800 in a series of case studies. While we hope to attract papers collectively representing a wide geographical spread, these are not intended as national surveys but as original essays focusing on different aspects of the representation of the past during the early modern period when an old form of historical writing, no longer the principal form of representing the past, was adapted to serve new purposes as factual source, alternative medium, collectable item, or inspiration for poetry and fiction.

Possible topics of interest include, but are by no means limited to:

– early modern continuations of medieval chronicles;

– early edition projects of medieval chronicles;

– printed chronicle traditions, including town chronicles and almanac chronicles;

– early modern artistic responses to medieval chronicles;

– use of material from medieval chronicles in different contexts, such as drama, political discourse, architecture, painting;

– collectors of manuscripts with medieval chronicles;

– chronicles in archives;

– survival – and/or loss – of medieval chronicle manuscripts;

– interactions between chronicles and other genres of historical writing;

– the use of medieval chronicles as sources by scholars in the 16th–18th centuries.

At this stage, we invite proposals of 400 words, with additionally a select bibliography, giving an indication of the proposed subject and sources, and including a brief description of previous research.

Deadline for proposals: 1 January 2018, to

Daniel Woolf (Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario)   –   Sjoerd Levelt (Bilkent University, Ankara)


Brief Notices

Boydell & Brewer’s Medieval Chronicles Series

Prospective editors of medieval chronicles are invited to contact Dan Embree, Editor of Boydell and Brewer’s Medieval Chronicles Series, at or, to discuss projects. We encourage discussions at any stage from vague stirrings to substantial drafts. We are interested in editions of medieval texts in various languages, of collections of short, related texts, and of  previously (but inadequately) edited texts.

Boydell & Brewer’s Writing History in the Middle Ages Series

History-writing was a vital form of expression throughout the European Middle Ages, and is fundamental to our understanding of medieval societies, politics, modes of expression, cultural memory, and social identity. This series publishes innovative work on history-writing from across the medieval world; monographs, collections of essays. Editions of texts will also be considered.

For more information, write to the Series Editors:

Dr Henry Bainton                                                                                Professor Lars Boje Mortensen

Department of English and Related Literature                          Head of Centre

University of York                                                                              University of Southern Denmark                                             

And see also: Writing History in the Middle Ages series


Research Stipends

Notre Dame’s programs for visiting medievalists (from Julia Marvin)

The Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame has several year-long and short-term programs for visiting scholars, including an A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medieval Studies (for faculty at US institutions), Stipends for Short-term Postdoctoral Research, Stipends for Ambrosiana Microfilms Collection Research,  and the SIEPM Fellowship in Medieval Philosophy. For more information, see
Notre Dame has substantial collections of microfilms and facsimiles, which may be searched here:


MCS Twitter Account

The Medieval Chronicle Society now has a Twitter account to accompany its website. The account is being run by Professor Sarah Peverley (University of Liverpool) and will be used to provide short updates about chronicle conferences and symposia (which have reached the ‘call for papers’ stage), large funded research projects involving medieval chronicles, and newly published editions and/or monographs on chronicles. If members would like Professor Peverley to ‘tweet’ about any of the above on their behalf please contact her at S.Peverley[at] Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters and to avoid being overwhelmed with requests Professor Peverley will only ‘tweet’ about publications and events that are chronicle related. The Twitter account is:


so please follow us and spread the word.

Professor Sarah Peverley – School of English – 19 Abercromby Square – Liverpool, L69 7ZG – UK


The Medieval Chronicle Society –

For information contact:

Dr Erik Kooper

Dept of English – Utrecht University – The Netherlands

E-mail: e.s.kooper[at]

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