Two Medieval Outlaws

April 2009
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843841876
Format: Paperback

Two Medieval Outlaws

Eustace the Monk and Fouke Fitz Waryn

Edited by Glyn S. Burgess

Fascinating insights into medieval life. THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Eustace the Monk and Fouke Fitz Waryn belong in the great tradition of medieval outlaws, and aspects of their lives, part-fact, part-fiction, find a reflection in the life of that most famous of all outlaws, Robin Hood. Glyn Burgess puts into modern English the two romances of the thirteenth century which relate their deeds, Li Romans de Witasse le Moine and Fouke le Fitz Waryn. He presents the historical reality of their respective "heroes", important but neglected figures: both were born around 1170; both broke with their overlords, the count of Boulogne and King John, at around the same time; and both spent a period as outlaws, during which they toyed with their lords and exacted revenge for the injustice they suffered. Eustace was not only an outlaw and a sea captain, but a pirate and magician; he was one of the most feared men of his day. Fouke's life was dominated by his attempt to take possession of Whittington Castle in Shropshire, to which his family laid claim.
Alongside the historical discussion of the lives of the protagonists of the two romances, Glyn Burgess reveals the multiple layers of the romances themselves: historically verifiable facts, information which cannot be proved but rings true, and a wide range of material which is manifestly imaginary, containing stock motifs also found in other romances of the period. His bringing to life of two forgotten outlaws is a fascinating context for his spirited translation of the romances.

GLYN S. BURGESS is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Liverpool.


Praise for the original hardback edition:

Two major medieval outlaws, and the nature of their outlawry, become more clearly visible through Burgess's most welcome volume which ... stimulates more work on outlaw themes from the middle ages. MEDIUM AEVUM

Undoubtedly succeeds in its aim of making two important legendary lives accessible to English-speaking medievalists. ANGLIA

An interesting and informative work, as well as a hugely enjoyable read. FRENCH STUDIES

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