Mullally, Evelyn, ed. and trans., The Deeds of the Normans in Ireland: la Geste des Engleis en Yrlande: a new edition of the chronicle formerly known as The Song of Dermot and the Earl (Dublin. Four Courts Press)
Text name(s): The Deeds of the Normans in Ireland; La Geste des Engleis en Yrlande; The Song of Dermot and the Earl
Number of pages of primary source text: 92
Dates: 1160 - 1180
Archival Reference: Lambeth Palace Library, Carew MS 569
- Translated into English.
- Original language included.
- British Isles
- Chronicle, Annals
- War - Military History
- Nobility / Gentry
- Royalty / Monarchs
This edition presents the the Anglo-Norman verse history of the occupation of Ireland by Richard Strongbow and subsequently by Henry II of England. Although it survives only in one manuscript and in fragmentary condition, the chronicle is a much more detailed valuable supplement to the only other narrative account of the event, Gerald of Wales’ Expugnatio Hibernica. The text was not edited until the nineteenth century, and this newest edition is also useful for its English translation and extensive historical notes. The chronicle records the ousting of Diarmait Mac Murchada, king of Leinster, who turned to the English for help in regaining his throne, swearing loyalty to Henry II and bringing Richard Strongbow with him to Ireland for help. Although the king was distracted by the rebellion of his son Henry the Young King, eventually he and Strongbow conquered Ireland. The text, however, ends imperfectly, in the middle of the account. The edition includes an index of proper names (5 pp.), a selective Anglo-Norman glossary (4 pp.), a genealogical table, a chronological table of events, and extensive notes to the text.
The lengthy introduction (40 pp.) establishes the need for a new addition and engages with previous scholars over the uncertain authorship and patronage of the work, comparing it to Gerald of Wales’ account. There is also a helpful summary of the events of the chronicle, and an extended discussion of its language and poetics.