Bell, Alexander, ed., L'Estoire des Engleis (Oxford: Anglo-Norman Text Society 14-16) Read this source online
Text name(s): Estoire des Engleis; History of the English
Number of pages of primary source text: 208
Dates: 800 - 1135
Archival Reference: Durham Cathedral C. iv. 27; Lincoln Cathedral 104; BL Royal MS 13. A. xxi; London, College of Arms, Arundel xiv;
- Original language included.
- British Isles
- Chronicle, Annals
- Literature - Verse
- Literature - Epics, Romance
- Royalty / Monarchs
- War - Chivalry
- War - Military History
- Nobility / Gentry
Prior to Ian Short’s edition in 2009, this was the most recent edition of the Gaimar’s Estoire and improves on the French text of the previous edition by Thomas Hardy and Charles Martin, Lestorie des Engles solum la translacion Maistre Geffrei Gaimar, but does not include an English translation. Originally the text was part of a longer history of Britain from its mythical Trojan origins onward, but the surviving section, written between 1135 and 1140, begins with the Anglo-Saxon period and ends with the death of William Rufus in 1100. It is written in rhymed Anglo-Norman verse and draws on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, especially in earlier sections, as well as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regnum Britanniae and French epic tradition, which are the source of some longer narrative interruptions such as the story of Havelock the Dane. The work was commissioned for Constance, wife of Ralph Fitz-Gilbert, and often appears in its manuscripts with other vernacular works of English history such as Wace’s Brut. This edition includes a brief bibliography (1 p.), a selective glossary of Anglo-Norman vocabulary (16 pp.) and an extensive linguistic and historical notes (71 pp.).
The extensive but technical introduction (76 pp.) identifies the author and discusses other works which have been attributed to him, treats each of the four manuscripts in which the text survives, and discusses the editorial principles used in this edition in detail. Much of the introduction is taken up with Gaimar’s language and use of meter and rhyme. Gaimar frequently alludes to his sources without naming them, which Bell attempts to do through comparison of passages in the Estoire with possible sources or influences such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Brut.
Cataloger: EGK, heb