An English Chronicle 1377-1461: A New Edition

April 2002
304 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Medieval Chronicles
ISBN: 9780851157931
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press

An English Chronicle 1377-1461: A New Edition

Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales MS 21608, and Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Lyell 34

Edited by William Marx

A new edition of the full text of the Brut continuation, previously only known through the damaged version, Lyell 34.
In 1856 J.S. Davies edited for the Camden Society the continuation of the Middle English prose Brut, from a manuscript in the Bodleian (Lyell 34), that became known as the Davies Chronicle. Covering the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI, it was at once recognised as an important vernacular historical narrative. Unfortunately Lyell 34 is in places badly damaged, and the narrative of the reign of Richard II has survived only in fragments. This new edition of what are in fact two Brut continuations makes use of a full text recently discovered in the National Library of Wales (MS 21608), providing a more authoritative version. The narrative covers the periods 1377-1437 and 1440-1461, and includes previously unknown English-language accounts of episodes of the reign of Richard II, such as the Peasants' Revolt. Each continuation is the product of a different political climate, and the introduction explores the narrative and rhetorical structures that lie behind them. As a whole, the edition offers particularly valuable insights into the growth of a highly politicised vernacular historical narrative, and the way in which two medieval compilers sought to represent the history of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

WILLIAM MARX is senior lecturer in medieval literature at the University of Wales, Lampeter


Thorough and well-reasoned, resulting in a text that is both useful and easy to work with.. This welcome new edition of the "Davies Chronicle" will be useful to a range of medievalists. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

Meticulously edited, [it] is a valuable addition to the literary sources of late medieval England, and is likely to serve the needs of historians and those with an interest in vernacular texts for a very long time. NORTHERN HISTORY

[A] carefully prepared edition, a welcome and useful addition to the chronicle evidence for the history of late medieval England.


A complete and useable edition of this late medieval text. [...] Lays the ground work for future scholars interested in the political use of the Brut in the fifteenth century. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY

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