This excellent online resource consists primarily of a full-text edition of the 'General Prologue' to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The smartly-presented text has been designed so that glosses 'pop up' when the reader runs the mouse over the word or phrase in question. An additional column contains summaries of interpretations and textual notes, with references to online essays by medievalists such as Professors Lee Patterson, C. David Benson, and Jane Zatta, as well as to other primary resources where necessary, such as the Rule of St. Augustine. A translation is provided, with facing Middle English text, and a drop-down selection box allows the reader to move easily to the part of the text describing their pilgrim of choice. Middle English audio recordings by Thomas Hanks, Jane Zatta, Alan Baragona, Tom Farrell, Alfred David, and Edwin Duncan are provided throughout the Middle English version of the text, and on a separate page for ease of access.Duncan provides links to images of some important manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales (Ellesmere, Cambridge MS Gg. 4. 27, and Oxford Corpus Christi MS 198) as well as to portraits of Chaucer himself. Background reading and further links are suggested in the 'Background' section, and help with Middle English and its pronunciation under 'Language'.This is a fine and useful resource intended primarily for the new undergraduate, or one unfamiliar with the Middle English language.
Luminarium's Anthology of Middle English Literature is a rich resource of online texts and and information relating to the major literary figures in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On this website you can find the works of: Geoffrey Chaucer; John Gower; William Langland; Julian of Norwich; Margery Kempe; and Sir Thomas Malory; and extracts from ananymous works such as 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight', and the morality play, 'Everyman'. There are also versions of the Wakefield and York plays. The site is well organized and presented with many images from medieval texts. For each author there are: texts; images; links; articles; and essays on the works, as well as biographies. This site would be useful for students studying the literature of this period, and also a valuable resource for those teaching it.
In the 'Anthology of Medieval English Literature' site, which functions as the bibliographic section of the Luminarium anthology of Middle English verse, Anniina Jokinen brings together a number of essays on Middle English texts and genres. A straightforward main menu offers direct links to: online versions of journal articles (with consistent referencing to their printed sources); conference papers; as well as student essays. The site pays a great deal of attention to the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, but also provides a considerable number of articles on: 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'; 'Everyman'; and the writings of John Gower; William Langland; Julian of Norwich; Margery Kempe; and Sir Thomas Malory. It also includes a small number of essays on literary genres: such as the lyric; the play; and the ballad. The selection of articles focuses on material that is relevant to gender studies and general text interpretation. The explicit aim of this site is not to replace library research but to introduce undergraduate students to a range of current topics in Middle English text interpretation, and, ideally, to help them focus their research.
'Arthurian Legend' is a website that showcases artist Françoise Taylor's series of engravings inspired by Sir Thomas Malory's 15th-century work 'Le Morte d'Arthur'. The site is the work of the artist's son, and provides images of the engravings, together with a biography of Françoise and background information on the works. In addition to the artworks, Taylor provides: biographical information on Malory; a summary of the 'Le Morte d'Arthur'; profiles of the main characters in Arthurian legend; and an index of more than 900 Arthur-related websites, searchable by keyword. This site would be of use to those studying: fine art; illustration; or English literature.
The Auchinleck Manuscript website features an online edition of the manuscript held by the National Library of Scotland. Produced in London during the 1330s, the manuscript contains verses and poems spanning a wide range of genres including: romance; hagiography; doctrinal instruction; a chronicle; satire; complaint; and humorous tales. According to popular myth, Chaucer himself may have read the manuscript, and his 'Tale of Sir Thopas' may have been influenced by the Auchinleck's stanzaic 'Guy of Warwick'. But it is for romances in particular that the manuscript is renowned. There are eighteen romances, including: 'Reinbroun'; 'Of Arthour & of Merlin'; 'Roland and Vernagu'; 'Sir Tristrem'; 'Kyng Alisaunder'; 'Sir Orfeo'; 'The King of Tars'; 'Amis and Amiloun'; and 'Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild'. All of the poems are in English. As well as containing the transcribed texts (and page images) of the manuscript, the website includes a history of manuscript and a page about its physical make up. There is also a glossary and a lexicon, as well as bibliographies for each text and topic, and links to other relevant websites. This is an excellent example of a manuscript Internet resource, which should be of great value to scholars engaged in manuscript studies or researching Middle English literature. It is also possible to download the manuscript from the Oxford Text Archive site.
The Auchinleck MS website presents both a basic and a detailed description of the Auchinleck manuscript (national library of Scotland, advocates' MS 19.2.1) and the forty-four Middle English text items included in it. For each item the site provides information on: the text's physical state in the manuscript; the stanza-form; other manuscript attestations; and modern editions. In addition, each item is linked to information on: the scribes; relevant sections in the site's selective bibliography; and to electronic editions of the individiual texts (some of which are diplomatic transcriptions by the site's creator, others are based on the TEAMS Middle English Texts website). This site is easy to navigate, being hyperlinked within its several different sections. It has consistent referencing to the scholarly sources used. While the information provided is very thorough, it remains limited, with little or no discussion of the manuscript's overall physical appearance or of the dating; distribution; and dialect of either the manuscript or the individual texts. This site would be a useful introduction to the manuscript and the texts themselves for students and researchers in manuscript studies or medieval English literature.
Baragona's Arthurian Legend Home Page is a gateway of annotated links to medieval and Arthurian-related websites. The gateway is designed for students of Professor Alan Baragona's Arthurian Legend course at the Virginia Military Institute, but would be of use to anyone researching the subject. Resources highlighted here include: bibliographies; academic discussion archives; texts of the legends; study guides; and related societies.
Baragona's Chaucer Page brings together an annotated list of online resources for the study of Chaucer and Medieval Literature. Most important sites relating to Chaucer studies are included, and the descriptions provided are succinct and helpful. Links are grouped under the headings: Chaucer Bibliographies; General Medieval Bibliographies; Texts of the Canterbury Tales; Other Resources Related to Chaucer; and General Resources for Medieval Studies. There is also a link to 'the Chaucer Archive', a searchable database of the contents of the Chaucer email discussion list. The author of the site, Alan Baragona, includes an extensive Chaucer bibliography of his own devising. The site appears to be updated fairly regularly.
The Bibliography and Methods in Medieval Studies website is an online course outline with detailed bibliographies and links to resources for bibliographic research in medieval studies. The site is divided into sub-sections, representing the topics covered each week in the course, including: general bibliographies and Internet sources; medieval history sources; ecclesiastical sources; Latin authors and texts; interpretations of the Bible; the liturgy; hagiography; iconography; manuscript research; science; and popular culture and folklore. Each section is linked to a bibliography, covering "the major reference guides, encyclopaedias, bibliographies and electronic databases". Some of the links to electronic resources are only available to students and staff of the University of Illinois, but those that are freely available are worth looking at. There are also eight library exercises designed to train the undergraduate medievalist in the scholarly tools which make the discipline possible.
A Brief Outline of Medieval English Literature is part of the San Antonio College British Literature Index, and provides a solid introduction to the principal writers and genres of the medieval period. The site begins with a section on Old English prose and poetry, providing details of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and modern English translations. The Middle English section offers critical and biographical information on the major writers such as: Geoffrey Chaucer; William Langland; the Pearl Poet; Robert Henryson; and Thomas Malory, as well as details of their major works and links to e-texts and other relevant sites. The main strength of the site lies in its links to excellent pages, such as those concerning: the mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe; medieval lyrics; and medieval drama. This would make a good introduction to the literature of the period for undergraduate English students.
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature is the online full-text of this work, originally printed between 1907 and 1921. The encyclopedia is a broad survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, and comprises an extensive collection of essays on topics ranging from: poetry; fiction; drama; and essays to: history; theology; and political writing. Renaissance and Restoration drama are particular strengths of this work. The text is searchable by keyword, allowing users to find references to: specific texts; movements; and authors. The encyclopedia will be of use to students as an introduction to English and American literature in general, and also as a starting point for further research on any of the topics covered. Users should bear in mind however the age of this work, and how literary theories have progressed since its original publication.
The Camelot project is an online database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies and other information. The project was designed and developed by Alan Lupack, Curator of the Robbins Library at the University of Rochester. The literature forms the most significant content on the site, which aims at something near a comprehensive collection of texts from the earliest references to Arthur in or around the 9th century AD, through the evolution of the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table in the later Medieval period, up to the twentieth century. Given the nature of the subject, the site is particularly rich in texts and pre-Raphaelite images. The database includes works by authors such as: Oscar Adams; Max Adeler; Robert Buchanan; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Geoffrey of Monmouth; William Morris; Charles Swinburne; Jonathan Swift; Lord Alfred Tennyson; and William Butler Yeats, as well as anonymous works, for example the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Artists featured on the site include: William Morris; Aubrey Beardsley; and Arthur Rackham. From the homepage, the database can be browsed by: Arthurian characters and motifs; author; or artist, as well as by keyword. The main page also links to related scholarly projects and resources. This site would be of interest to anyone studying Arthurian legend, whether from an artistic, historical or literary point of view.
The Canterbury Tales website provides an online edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's work of that title, both in the original Middle English and in a Modern English translation. The edition and the translation, both illustrated with portraits from the Ellesmere Manuscript and the Kelmscott reprinting, can be accessed as separate texts, or in several combinations (including 'en face' and interpolated). With its: search option for the complete texts; easy navigation; 'chronology of the life and times of Chaucer'; and 'Canterbury Tales' discussion forum, this site is an extremely effective and very user-friendly tool for students and researchers. Unfortunately, the site is somewhat vague about its sources for the edition and the translation (referring to 'the Wiretap file, with numerous corrections' and the 'Litrix reading room'), so that its academic level remains unclear.
'Canterbury tales & Troilus and Criseyde: a reader-friendly edition' is a website hosting full texts of two of Geoffrey Chaucer's most frequently studied works. The editor, Michael Murphy, retains the original words of the text, modernising spellings and glossing words without an obvious modern meaning. Explanatory and critical comments are also included in the footnotes. On the whole, this approach works well: the texts are easy to follow but maintain something of the feel of the original. Some introductory comments are also provided. Both texts are provided as several PDF files. The edition of the Canterbury Tales was previously published in a print format. Students new to the original texts will find these a useful introduction to Chaucer's works.
The Canterbury Tales website presents hypertext editions of some of Geoffrey Chaucer's most famous works. The site includes Middle English texts of: The Canterbury Tales; Troilus and Criseyde; The Book of the Duchess; and The Parliament of Fowls, all accompanied by a Middle English glossary. The Canterbury Tales can also usefully be viewed side-by-side with a modern English translation. The site also provides a chronology of Chaucer's life, and some useful 'Links for further study', including links to: introductions to the texts; audio links; online bibliographies; and essays. Although the site focuses mainly on the Canterbury Tales, this would also be a good introduction to Chaucer's life and other works for students of Middle English literature.
The website of the Canterbury Tales Project provides information about the project and access to a number of their articles. The aim of the project is to examine the textual history of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from 84 manuscripts and four pre-1500 printed editions using computer-assisted means. Since it was founded in the early 1990s, the project has produced editions of individual tales, as well as individual manuscript facsimiles. Using new technology, recent research, computer collation and computer-assisted analysis, the project has produced new insights into Chaucer scholarship. The methodology of the project and the way in which the texts are being recorded, collated and analysed is described on the website through access to a large number of articles published by the project. More information about the CD-ROMs produced by the project is also provided on the website as well as a selection of links to other sites related to Chaucer and related topics. This site is of use to scholars of Chaucer, as well as those in other fields such as dialectology, palaeography, and textual analysis.
The Chaucer Bibliography Online website is supported by the University of Texas at San Antonio Library and based upon the annual New Chaucer Society bibliography published in 'Studies in the Age of Chaucer'. The site provides a complete and systematic bibliographic online search tool for scholarship on Geoffrey Chaucer, incorporating material published since 1975. The bibliography can be searched by: author; title; subject heading; or keyword. The section 'search tips' provides practical advice on how to navigate the search engines, and a complete list of subject headings is available by clicking on the 'help' button. Each bibliography entry is annotated and provided with detailed information. Authors and subjects are hyperlinked directly to related entries. The search engines are very user-friendly and have an option to download or email the search-results. This resource is likely to be of interest to Chaucer scholars at all levels of study.
The Chaucer Metapage is a website dedicated to the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1340-1400). The project was initiated at the 33rd International Congress of Medieval Studies and is now based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The project aims to promote Chaucer studies, particularly through distance learning. The site provides links to electronic versions of Chaucer texts, including: the Canterbury Tales; the Book of the Duchess; Troilus and Criseyde; the Parliament of Fowls; and the House of Fame. There are also links to audio versions of the texts, which may be helpful for students needing help with pronunciation of Middle English. The site also links to some useful contextual material relating to topics such as medieval women, and the history of Canterbury as well as online bibliographies of Chaucer studies. This resource would be of interest to anyone teaching Chaucer, as well as students studying his life and works.
The Chaucer Pedagogy Page is a website for both teachers and students of Geoffrey Chaucer and his works. This site is a good starting point for Chaucerian research and teaching on a basic level, providing information and links to related resources. The site groups resources and links under basic questions such as "who was Chaucer and what did he do?" and "why was Chaucer's time so important?", as well as providing research paper ideas and information on assessing websites for accuracy and content. The author of the site provides links to other Chaucer sites, as well as to electronic texts in both Middle and Modern English. Resources for teachers includes a 'refresher' section that covers Middle English: grammar; syntax; vocabulary; and pronunciation, as well as providing links to online bibliographies, and e-text primary sources. The site also provides: assignment ideas; teaching notes; later-secondary-school assignments; and a section on responsible research techniques and avoiding plagiarism.
The website 'Chronicles and Society in Northern England in the Fourteenth Century' provides a one-page introduction to this Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project. The project's main aim is to produce a new translation of the fourteenth-century work 'Salacronica', written in French, by Sir Thomas Gray. The team will also seek to produce scholarly articles relating the work to other contemporary writing in the North of England. This new edition will supersede those of Joseph Stevenson (1836) and H.E. Maxwell (1907), neither of which contains a full text. The project team intends to examine the text within its linguistic, historical, and historiographical contexts. In particular, issues such as local attitudes to the Scots, cross border conflicts, and Edward III's wars in France will be addressed. This project received funding from the AHRC within the Research Grants scheme. This resource, when available, will be of interest to students of medieval languages and history, as well as researchers in those fields.
'A Chronological Bibliography of Books About Tolkien' is a scholarly bibliography by Åke Bertenstam of the Swedish Forodrim Society. His bibliography lists 711 titles that relate to the author J.R.R. Tolkien, covering materials from 1959 until 2003. It is organised by year. Works included are only those that are "about Tolkien and his writings" rather than attempting to deal with the dense undergrowth of 'Tolkienalia' such as games, comics, plays or music. There is, however, a short addendum that lists works related to film adaptations. Some entries are annotated. The bibliography also endevours to include reprinted titles. All encyclopaedias were excluded from the bibliography.
'A Companion to Middle English Literature' was designed as a resource for students taking the MA program at the Chair of Medieval English Literature and Historical Linguistics of the Heinrich-Heine-University at Düsseldorf. The site provides an elementary but extremely rich and well-illustrated introduction to Middle English literature, as well as a practical (albeit limited) tool for further active research. The site focuses on the main canon of Middle English literature, represented by twelve Middle English authors, including: Geoffrey Chaucer; William Langland; John Gower; John Lygate; and Margery Kempe, and a further twenty anonymous texts including: 'Pearl'; 'Morte Arthur'; 'Ormulum'; and 'The Owl and the Nightingale'. For each of these authors or texts, introductory information is provided, usually in the form of: specimen texts (with simultaneous modern English translations); concise essays on the author's life and works or on the text's contents and structure; illustrative picture- and/or sound-material; relevant Internet links; and short selective bibliographies. In addition to this, the Companion provides further excellent information and documentation on medieval literary genres (for example: allegory; courtly love; and Arthurian material) and on the historic background (for example: time-lines; detailed dynasties; and maps). As a whole, the website is very accessible, with: an attractive layout; a particularly clear 'help' section; and user-friendly navigation symbols. It is also abundantly hyper-linked, both within its different sections and externally.
The Converse website offers free multimedia: resources; games; and essays for teaching and learning English literature. The site is aimed at both students between the ages of 11-19 years, and their teachers. The project is hosted by the University of Cambridge, and is the work of members of the English Faculty and Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) at Cambridge, with contributions from school teachers and students. The resources are divided into: primary; key stage 3-4; and A-level, as well as: 'fun stuff'; teachers' resources; Chaucer resources; and an item called 'Personal Demons'. A range of topics and periods are covered, including: Chaucer/Middle English; Shakespeare; First World War poetry and propaganda; English language; and poetry. The resources are interactive, some requiring Flash and Adobe Reader, although text-only versions of many of the pages are available. The forums have now been disabled, and the live seminars are no longer running, but an archive of past seminars is available.
The Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse is a website containing a database of over 50 medieval texts encoded in SGML, complete with full bibliographic details. The Corpus is set eventually to expand to include all texts which formed the basis for the Middle English Dictionary. The entire corpus may be searched in a variety of ways and texts may be searched individually or grouped together. The full texts themselves can be browsed and accessed from the search page (although some texts are large and take some time to open), which also links to the Middle English Dictionary and the full bibliography of all the sources used in the compilation of the Dictionary. The standard of presentation is high throughout the site, with the text display kept clear and simple. The site will undoubtedly prove useful to researchers and students of medieval English literature.
The 'Dante, Chaucer, and the currency of the word' website contains an electronic version of the book of that title, written by R. A. Shoaf, Professor of English at the University of Florida. The book was first published in 1983 by Pilgrim Books and has been online since 1995. The book is methodologically sophisticated, while still remaining attentive and sympathetic to the idealisations of poetry. The work is divided into three main parts: Dante's Commedia and the Promise of Reference; Troilus and Criseyde and the 'Falsing' of the Referent; The Canterbury Tales and the Ethics of Reference. The 1983 bibliography is included. This resource would be of use to students of Dante and Chaucer's works, as well as those teaching them.
De casu ciȝaris dutis regis iabin : an Episode from John Lydgate's Fall of Princes is an online version of this 15th-century manuscript in both image and transcribed text form. The authors have used Unicode to transcribe a fragment of text from John Lydgate's 'Fall of Princes'. The user will need a modern XML browser to view the text correctly. Mac users may experience problems. A digital representation of the original manuscript is displayed side by side with the modern transcribed text. In addition to the text, the site offers a report on the process of the transcription. The pilot project was undertaken at the Humanities Computing and Media Centre of the University of Victoria.
The Romaunt of the Rose website is the pilot study for a project that aims to digitise other Middle English manuscripts from the Hunterian Collection at Glasgow University Library. The site contains images of each page of the manuscript of the Romaunt of the Rose (MS Glasgow, Hunter 409) and a description of the proposed larger project. Users can compare the manuscript with images of the 1532 printed edition of the poem, thought to have been based on the Hunterian manuscript. The project hopes that the eventual digitisation of this important collection will not only make this important resource available to students and scholars, but will also help to preserve the fragile originals.
'English literature and culture from medieval period to the eighteenth century' is the work of Professor Cecilia H. C. Liu (Fu Jen University). The site compiles a wealth of introductory material on: medieval; sixteenth-century; seventeenth-century; and eighteenth-century literature, aimed explicitly at an audience of undergraduate students. Included here are resources relating to many different works and authors, such as: 'Beowulf'; Geoffrey Chaucer; William Langland; 'Sir Gawain and the green knight'; the 'Morte d'Arthure'; Thomas More; Edmund Spenser; Christopher Marlowe; William Shakespeare; Robert Herrick; John Dryden; Daniel Defoe; Jonathan Swift; and Samuel Johnson, as well as: medieval drama; ballads and lyrics. The site contains Liu's own research on the above works and authors, with some background on genres and history, and also notes and short essays written by her students. This site would be a useful tool for students learning how to read, summarise and interpret literary texts from these periods.
The website 'Essays in Medieval Studies' is the online version of this annual, published (1984- ) simultaneously in print and online editions. The online volumes from 1984-2000 are freely available on the Web. Subsequent volumes are being published via Project Muse by Johns Hopkins University Press and can be accessed only through a subscription. The Journal is interdisciplinary in nature, and its contents are chosen from the annual meeting of the Illinois Medieval Association. Since 1993, each volume has had a thematic focus based on the topic of the annual meeting. Recent themes, for example, have included the family, medieval communities, and emotions in the Middle Ages. A simple, full-text journal with few images, the site is fast and easy to navigate.
The Essential Chaucer website hosts an electronic version of the selective, annotated bibliography of Chaucer studies (from 1900-1984) first published in 1987 by G. K. Hall and Mansell Publishers Limited.The bibliography is divided into almost 90 topics, including: themes; techniques; and individual works by Chaucer. Descriptions of individual studies are kept brief but informative. Subsections are extensively cross-referenced through hyperlinks provided at the bottom of each topic page.This bibliography is an essential tool for students beginning work in the crowded field of Chaucer studies, and this website provides a good alternative to the print version, exploiting the benefits of hypertext.
Etext Center offers access to a wide variety of online texts in English literature. The resources available in American literature are particularly rich and include early American fiction, Native American literature, literature from the American civil war and the Salem witch trials. The site also provides access to special collections at the University of Virginia, including a digital collection of African-American educational photographs and selected private and official correspondence of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.Other materials include online texts of William Shakespeare in both First Folio and early Quarto editions. There is a facility which allows users to make side-by-side comparisons of different texts, which is extremely simple to use and valuable as a research tool.
'First Scottish Books' is a website published as part of the Digital Library section of the National Library of Scotland's Web pages. The site offers access to digitised copies of the nine earliest books printed in Scotland, which were produced in the early sixteenth century by Edinburgh based merchant Walter Chepman and bookseller Andrew Myllar. Images of the complete books are provided, with the texts featured including: 'The Porteous of Nobleness'; 'Golagrus and Gawain'; John Lydgate's 'Rhyme without Accord'; 'Eglamour'; 'Balade'; William Dunbar's 'The Golden Targe'; 'De regimine principum bonum concilium'; 'The Complaint of the Black Knight' and 'When by Divine Deliberation' by John Lydgate; William Dunbar's 'The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy'; and 'A Gest of Robyn Hode'. The facsimile images are displayed with a side-by-side transcript. In addition to the texts users can also access information about: the digitisation project; the provenance and binding of the original books; and the place of the texts in the history of European printing. This outstanding site would be of great interest to anyone studying book history.
This is the website of Forgotten Ground Regained - a site devoted to alliterative verse in Old English, Middle English, modern English. Forgotten Ground Regained contains translations, original texts, contemporary poetry written in alliterative styles, resources, commentaries, and links to related material. Perhaps the most interesting part of Forgotten Ground Regained is the editor's guide to alliterative poetry. Written in an engaging (yet informed) manner, the introduction explains the fundamental techniques of alliterative verse (including stress and meter), provides technical commentaries on excerpts of well-known texts, such as Beowulf, and offers advice for those wishing to write in these forms.
The online resource 'From Stage to Page: Medieval and Renaissance Drama' is a part of Professor Gerard NeCastro's home page at the University of Maine at Machias. This Web page gives access to NeCastro's own editions of numerous complete English play texts, split into four categories: Moral Comedies; Non-Cycle Plays; Medieval Mystery Cycle Plays; and Tudor Drama. NeCastro authorises full use of the texts, but asks to be notified of their use. The site encompasses texts from the early drama canon such as: the Chester cycle; York cycle; and Towneley cycle but also includes editions of rarer plays such as: 'Mundus et Infans'; and 'Lucidus and Dubius'. These sources would be invaluable to students and researchers in the field of medieval drama. The plays are displayed in plain text, which makes them easily accessible, if lacking in extra features.
The Geoffrey Chaucer website, hosted by the English department at Harvard University, has been developed as a companion resource for the undergraduate study of Chaucer (c.1340-1400). The texts and essays available are arranged by topic including: Life of Chaucer; Canterbury Tales; Literary Subjects; Life and Manners; Medieval Science; and Chaucer's Language. The resources give a general overview of life in the later Middle Ages, and of the literary tradition of the period, but notably focus on the Canterbury Tales rather than any of Chaucer's other works. Each of the Canterbury Tales has an introductory essay which makes use of both quotations and illustrations, and further reading is also suggested. A full site index greatly assists in the retrieval of resources. This site would be of use to undergraduate students and teachers looking for an introduction to medieval life and to Chaucer's best-known works.
'Geoffrey Chaucer: a treatise on the astrolabe' is a web page hosting an electronic text of Geoffrey Chaucer's unfinished Treatise, written around 1391 and believed to be the earliest extant 'technical manual' in English. The text is in HTML format and is adapted from F. N. Robinson's 1933 edition of Chaucer's poetical works. It is presented in its original unmodernised Middle English. There is little commentary, but the opportunity to access the original text would be of use to students of Chaucer's works.
The Electronic Canterbury Tales website is a comprehensive guide to: online texts of the Tales; commentary; and related resources for both teachers and students of Geoffrey Chaucer. This site, edited and compiled by Daniel T. Kline of the University of Alaska, also links to Kline's other resources including the Chaucer Pedagogy Page. There are links to other Chaucer sites, as well as to electronic texts in both Middle and Modern English.
Geographies of Orthodoxy is the website of an AHRC-funded project that aims to chart the: literary; linguistic; and theological effects of pseudo-Bonaventuran English vernacular lives of Christ circulated in the period 1350 - 1550. At the time of writing the Project is still in its early stages, and the content of the site reflects this. Eventually the Project aims to digitise all the remaining manuscript pseudo-Bonaventuran works and make them openly accessible. By examining the content and context of these manuscripts, the Project hopes to shed new light on the nature of pre-Reformation devotional thought. Eventually, the Project also aims to provide a record of the various scribal hands involved in the preparation of the manuscripts in question. The website describes the Project and its aims in some detail, together with the makeup of the Project team. Also provided is a blog containing related items of interest, including book reviews and articles on topics such as the nature of 'vernacular theology'. This site, and ultimately the work of this Project would be of interest to students and researchers working in the fields of: medieval theology; manuscript studies; English literature; and history.
'The Glossarial Database of Middle English' is an online resource enabling text searching of The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. The database was prepared as part of a larger resource that, at the time of writing, has not yet been completed. Search results give the number of occurrences of the search string, and each occurrence is reported with its: text reference; Lemma form; and grammatical type. The language of each word is also given, in order to distinguish the Middle English from Latin, Greek, or French equivalents. The site also provides some linguistic statistics relating to the Canterbury Tales. Searches may be conducted with filters if required.
The Chaucer Scriptorium was created by Professor Michael Hanly of Washington State University, as an aid to his students' study on Chaucer. Although somewhat dated (it was created in 1996), it is a useful source for students of English literature and the medieval period in general. The site is divided into sections: 'Chaucer Resources on the Web'; 'Reference Resources for Chaucer Students'; and 'Web Bibliographies'. The first section consists of a set of annotated links relating to Chaucer and the Middle Ages, while the reference resources are comprised of: definitions of important medieval philosophical concepts; an outline of major events in the 14th century; and links to sound files to help with Middle English pronunciation. The final section links to a number of very helpful sites hosting annotated bibliographies relating to Chaucer studies. To add to this, Hanly also provides a few photographs from Canterbury Cathedral, including images of: the Beckett window; the tomb of the Black Prince; and the former site of Beckett's shrine.
Hortulus is an online medieval studies journal, published annually since 2005 by graduate students, for a graduate student audience. The journal is peer-reviewed, and claims an "international board of graduate students", although the staff and contributors listed appear to come mainly from North America. The published articles are of a high standard and cover a broad spectrum of subjects, including among other things: "Power and the Subversive Body in Chaucer's Wife of Bath"; "The Music of Dante's 'Purgatorio'"; "Astrology of the Arabic World and Albertus Magnus"; and "Seeing the World with the Eyes of God: the Vision Implied by the Medieval Icon". Hortulus is accompanied by a smaller magazine section entitled "Lighter Fare", which attempts to entertain and educate in tandem with the more serious scholarly tone of the main journal. "Lighter Fare" includes: interviews with medieval scholars and other professionals; light-hearted articles on anything from Gregorian chant to the production of manuscripts; book reviews; and reports on conferences and events of interest to medievalists. The website is easy to navigate, and allows readers to respond to articles directly. However, the site's reliance on images and tables may present access problems for some users.
This website details the ongoing Historical Thesaurus of English (HTE) project. It describes the project itself, how the finished work will be organised, and lists publications that have benefited from the work on the thesaurus so far. The site also provides some sample entries, such as 'beer' and 'gin'.The HTE contains English words (including Old English) from their earliest written occurrence, giving information on when they fell out of use (where appropriate and known). It is based on the New Oxford English Dictionary. The HTE is organised into three sections: the External World, the Mind, and Society. Within each section, words are ordered chronologically and semantically (not alphabetically). The HTE allows the building of models of vocabularies available at any one time, and it should be a valuable research tool for studying literary and linguistic history. The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme.
The Imagining History website grew out of the site belonging to the Imagining History project at Queen's University Belfast, which was conceived to investigate the textual transmission of the 'Prose Brut', a late-medieval Middle English chronicle. The project investigated the ethnic and political notions of: English; Welsh; and Irish history in medieval and early modern historiography and received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the research grants scheme. The current form of the website gives access to the output of the original project (descriptions of manuscripts and printed books that included the 'Prose Brut' and some of the descriptive pages of the earlier project website), and promises in future to be a portal to resources for students and scholars of medieval and early modern historiography in English and other European vernaculars. The site is designed as a wiki, and in future users will be able to register to be able to contribute to the wiki.
The International Piers Plowman Society (IPPS) website gives information on the society and its activities, as well as helpful information for William Langland scholars. The society, formed in 1999, contributes to sessions at various medieval conferences, as well as running its own international conferences and overseeing publication of the Yearbook of Langland Studies (YLS). The website provides general membership and subscription information for the society, as well as: conference details; links to Langland-related scholarly projects; and related web links. The site also gives more information on the YLS, including: editorial and subscription information; tables of contents for issues from volume 11 onwards; and a searchable database of the annual bibliography of Piers Plowman-related works.
Jane Zatta's Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales is the work of Professor Jane Zatta of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The site is designed as a resource for undergraduates, and essentially provides illustrated notes on the Tales, together with a gateway to relevant Chaucer web resources. The site is divided into three categories: context; tales and background; and other Chaucer and medieval resources. There are links to full-text copies of the canon of John Lydgate and works of John Gower, as well as to works by: Dante; Boccaccio; Augustine; and Langland. Additional links provide full-text Middle and Modern English editions of The Canterbury Tales, as well as essays on the work. The links are not annotated.
The Julian of Norwich Web pages are part of the Luminarium Anthology of Middle English Literature, and are a general introduction for students to the life and works of the medieval mystic and anchorite. When Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) believed she was dying she had a series of visions which ultimately became 'The Revelations of Divine Love', an example of the genre of spiritual biography, and the first book to have been written by a woman. This website provides links to: a number of short biographies; the complete online version of 'The Revelations' from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College; a short bibliography of primary and secondary texts; and a limited selection of essays and articles. A section of additional sources includes links to other relevant sites about Julian of Norwich, an essay on the manuscripts and their cultural contexts as well as a series of images, such as the Westminster Cathedral manuscript (the second oldest surviving manuscript), and the stained glass window at St Agnes' Anglican Church. Whilst the website does not offer detailed critical or bibliographical information about Julian of Norwich or her historical and literary context, it is pleasantly presented and provides a good introductory account of the mystic.
King Arthur: a man for the ages is a website that explores Arthurian mythology and history. The site is the work of American enthusiast David White, who discusses Arthur both in the context of the literature that constitutes the Arthurian myths, and also in the context of British history, citing examples in historical literature for a real king or leader. The myth section of the site discusses Arthurian literature from authors such as: Chrétien de Troyes; Sir Thomas Malory; and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The Arthurian History section discusses works by: Geoffrey of Monnmouth; Nennius; and William of Malmesbury, among others. Both areas of the site have good glossaries of the people and places involved in the relevant literatures, which are linked to from the discussions. This would make an interesting introduction for anyone studying Arthurian literature and legend.
Labyrinth Library Middle English Bookcase provides access to online Middle English texts. The material on the site includes anthologies, collections and corpera, drama texts, anonymous works and works by specific authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400), William Dunbar (c.1460-c.1520) and John Gower (c.1330-1408). The Labyrinth Library Middle English Bookcase forms part of the Labyrinth Library: Resources for medieval studies from Georgetown University. The Labyrinth Library was set up with the objective of providing free organised access to electronic resources on medieval studies via the World Wide Web. It is possible to search the Labyrinth Library as a whole using either a basic or an advanced search.
The Lincoln Mystery Plays website is devoted to showcasing modern performances of mystery plays in Lincoln. The site gives a history of the plays, and information on current productions, as well as an archive of pictures from productions going back to 1978. The photographs of previous productions would be of interest to theatre historians and medievalists, as would be the current director's notes on editing the medieval N-Town Plays that form the basis for modern performances. The information presented here is of more use for those interested in performance and adaptation of medieval texts generally, rather than those looking for contextual history for civic performances in Lincoln particularly.
A Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English, 1150 - 1325 (LAEME) is an interactive online atlas, designed to enable regional and chronological linguistic study of English during this period. The Atlas complements the printed 'Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English' (LALME), which covers the period immediately following LAEME. Resources provided as part of the atlas include: a comprehensive introduction to the atlas, its contents and uses; a corpus of lexico-gramatically tagged texts (in a searchable database); a database of information regarding LAEME corpus sources; information on the software used by LAEME with instructions on concordancing, dictionary-making and map-making; and a corpus of etymologies and changes. Searches are performed mainly via 'task' buttons, which bring up search fields relevant to particular interests, namely: mapping; concordancing; timetables; tagged texts; and dictionaries. The maps illustrating regional word usages are particularly useful for those researching the origins of a particular work or manuscript. LAEME is designed specifically as a non-commercial teaching and research resource, to be cited as per a printed text. This resource would be of use both to linguists and also to medievalists studying manuscripts of the period.
The beautifully crafted and highly useful 'Luminarium' website, created and edited by Anniina Jokinen, is an excellent resource for all students of early English literature and literary history, as well as the allied subjects of: history; religious studies; and philosophy. The site offers four different collections of literary works and resources relating to the period from the later middle ages to the Restoration. The first section, an anthology of Middle English literature (1350 – 1485), includes links to the writings of: Chaucer; Margery Kempe; and Julian of Norwich; as well as an assortment of plays and lyrical works. The second grouping is of resources relating to Renaissance literature (1485-1603) and contains links to the works of such recognizable authors as: More; Spenser; Hooker; Marlowe; Gascoigne; and, of course, Shakespeare. The third series covers the early 17th Century until 1660, and once again offers a substantial number of resources and links relating to: Bacon; Donne; Lovelace; and Cowley, just to name a few. The final section covers the Restoration period, including authors such as: Pepys; Dryden; Pope and Jonathan Swift. This site is an excellent starting point for the study of early English literature, particularly for the undergraduate user, as the compiler has spent considerable effort in gathering and posting articles, citations and essays (both student and professional) for each of the seventy-plus authors. The images and striking web-design that accompany these secondary resources make this site not only a literary feast, but also a visual one.
A Manuscript Miscellany is a website hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library and is the result of a 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer humanities institute entitled 'The Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England'. The institute focused on the history of manuscripts from 1400 to 1700, examining among others: literary; domestic; devotional; dramatic; and business documents and texts from the Folger Library, in order to write a "more nuanced history of the period". The resulting essays (14 of them) written by the college-teacher participants of the institute are available on the website, with topics including: '"The Emperor of China His Letter to Queen Elizabeth" (1600)'; 'The Marginalized Voices of Chaucer's Early Readers'; 'A Seventeenth-Century Prophecy of Merlin'; and 'Gendering Hands, Gendering Business: A Letter from Elizabeth Bagot'. The site also provides a useful Glossary of Manuscript Terms, as well as a useful set of links to related electronic resources. The resources here would be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of manuscript studies, history and English, especially those studying the dissemination of texts and literacy in the early modern period.
The Manuscripts of the West Midlands website describes a project based at the University of Birmingham. The project aims to provide a catalogue of vernacular manuscript books of the West Midlands: an extensive collection of historical and linguistic data connected to Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire between 1350 and 1475. There are many extant sources originating in the West Midlands area, which allows a great deal of regional study to be undertaken, and insights into manuscript geography to be gained. The site is likely to be of interest to those researching or studying the history of the West Midlands, history of the book, or manuscript studies. The catalogue can also be downloaded in XML format from the Oxford Text Archive website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)). The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) within the Resource Enhancement Scheme.
Mapping Margery Kempe is an online digital library of resources relating to the contextual study of Margery's and her spiritual biography (known as the 'Book of Margery Kempe'). The site is based at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachussets, USA, and provides various resources, including an online, original-spelling edition of the Book of Margery Kempe itself. The text of the book has been formatted so that users can locate particular sections and chapters quickly and easily, and is supported by an online glossary and bibliographical resources. The website also offers an excellent range of contextual material including biographies of some of Margery Kempe's most significant influences and contemporaries, and material relating to: medieval piety; pilgrimage; saints' lives; and church history. There are also detailed photographic resources relating to the church in Norfolk that Margery Kempe attended. Mapping Margery Kempe would be of interest not only to literary scholars but social and cultural historians of the medieval period. It is an ideal resource for those interested in contexual approaches to Margery Kempe's writing.
The 'Marginalia' journal website is part of a larger site also called 'Marginalia', which is the home of the Medieval Reading Group at Cambridge University. This peer-reviewed journal is published and edited by postgraduate students of medieval studies, with the assistance of an advisory board of established academics. The editors invite submissions of long papers and shorter notices on any aspect of the Middle Ages in England within the broad period from 500 CE to 1500 CE. All articles are based on original research. The publication also includes book reviews. This journal showcases new work being undertaken by young researchers, and will be of interest to students and scholars of medieval studies in all disciplines. The first edition of the journal, with the theme of 'Margins', appeared in 2005. Published papers available on the site include: 'The marginalization of John Lydgate'; 'The participation of women in the fourteenth-century manor court of Sutton-in-the-Hole'; 'A previously unidentified fragment of 'Pearce the Black Monke upon the Elixir' in MS. Mellon 43'; 'The hem of whose garment? Intertextual allusion in Osbern of Canterbury's Miracles of St Dunstan'; and 'Museums and medieval material culture'. The contents of the journal are presented as simple Web pages, with hypertext links to footnotes. The site also includes notes for contributors and links to other online journals.
Medieval Drama Links is an online gateway of about 200 annotated links relating to the study of medieval drama. This gateway is the work of Sydney Higgins, formerly of the University of Camerino, and is an invaluable tool for university students and researchers in this field. The site encompasses links to a broad range of material, including: play texts; general bibliographies and articles; sites concerned with medieval costumes; information on medieval music and instruments; and reviews of modern stagings of medieval plays. The links are generally well maintained, and are helpfully divided into clear sections. The scope of the material, although heavily weighted towards English drama and history, also includes reference to European dramatic activity. The website is part of a larger, partially commercial site, called The Camerino Players, which provides information about the Italian theatre company that is run by Higgins.
Medieval English Political Writings is the near-complete online text of the printed book of the same title edited by James M. Dean (Kalamazoo, 1996). The site provides full-texts of medieval poems and documents with political leanings. This edition supplies just over thirty texts, divided into five sections, headed: Poems of Political Prophecy; Anticlerical Poems and Documents; Literature of Richard's Reign and the Peasants' Revolt; Poems Against Simony and the Abuse of Money; and Plowman Writings. Each section includes an introduction and a select bibliography, as well as notes (viewed in a separate frame alongside each poem). The material is reproduced for individual use only; permission from Medieval Institute Publications must be obtained before making copies for teaching purposes. This site would be of interest to students and researchers studying Middle English literature and medieval politics and history.
Medieval English Theatre (METh) is the website of the journal of that title. The journal has been published annually since 1979, and focuses on drama and theatre pre Shakespeare. Despite its title, the journal also publishes articles on European theatre and dramatic activity of the period, as well as reviews of modern performances of medieval plays. The site provides: information on the membership of the journal's editorial board; titles of articles and reviews previously published in the journal (available both as a cumulative index of all issues, or by volume/issue number); submission and subscription details; and information on METh's annual meeting, which is open to non-subscribers and postgraduate students interested in early drama. There is also a short section of related links, which is a work in progress. This site would be of interest to researchers and students studying early English or European drama or theatre history.
Medieval Forum is an online journal concerned with providing an arena for discussion on aspects of medieval studies. Edited by Professor George Tuma and Dinah Hazell of San Francisco State University, the website provides full-text access to the articles in all of its annual volumes, starting in 2002 and running to 2007, which touch on: Icelandic sagas; Old English literature; the Bible; and Chaucer, among other subjects. As of 2007 the journal has ceased to call for new submissions, and there are no new volumes planned. Interdisciplinary and historical in emphasis, the resources on the Medieval Forum website remain of interest to students of medieval English literature, history and theology. Contact details for previous contributors are provided.
Medieval Imaginations is an online database created by the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, in conjunction with the University's Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET). The aim of the site is to cross-reference episodes from medieval mystery plays with depictions of the same Biblical episodes in the visual arts of the period. Users may choose a mystery play episode from a drop-down list that includes: 'Abraham and Isaac'; 'Apocalypse'; 'Harrowing of Hell'; 'Crucifixion and Death'; and 'Massacre of the Innocents' as well as other more general topics such as: 'Saints'; 'Borders and Margins'; and 'Gargoyles'. The images are taken from a number of sources, including: stained glass windows; illuminated manuscripts; early printed books; embroidery; and sculpture. The project is ongoing, and images continue to be added. Images can be viewed with or without a java applet that allows users to zoom into the picture, and are accompanied by a description. Users can perform a more advanced search by: keyword; episode; media; or date. The site also provides: a history of the project; help on how to use the database; a short introduction to medieval mystery plays and to each of the episodes; references; and suggested further reading. This resource would be of interest to those studying or teaching medieval literature (and more particularly drama) at University level, as well as anyone interested in medieval art.
Despite its broad title, Prof. Kelly's Medieval Literature and Culture website focuses entirely on the study of Old and Middle English literature, and reflects the contents and structure of Prof. Kelly's university course in medieval English literature. As such, the site provides practical reading lists on a number of topics: the 'idea of history'; travel literature; the medieval perception of the body; and religious writings. There are also hyper-links to a great number of primary texts (and modern English translations) of: medieval romances; lyrics; and prose. These primary texts are frequently hosted on other websites. The site has a pleasant lay-out (including some illustrative picture material) and benefits from a very straightforward navigation. However, the 'medieval' font used for the main menu page may cause somewhat uncomfortable reading. On the whole, the main strength of this site is its providing and systematizing links to primary texts, whereas its other features generally only offer minimal information and depend upon elaboration in a teaching context.
Developed from the Manchester University Press Medieval Sources series, Medieval Sources online is a Web-based based learning resource containing hundreds of original medieval history documents compiled for the teaching and study of history. With a yearly subscription to the site, students and teachers can have open and unrestricted access, through their own computers, to high quality history resource material. Medieval Sources online is "designed to be fully integrated with undergraduate courses, and is intended as a one-stop answer for many medieval history students, academics and researchers". Medieval Sources online is organised according to subject matter. The site's excellent and intuitive search engine makes it simple to browse for the texts or beautifully rendered images that are available. The site also provides a portal (freely available to non-subscribers) to other online resources relating to the study of the Middle Ages. Subjects covered by this free portal include: women in medieval times; the black death; the Crusades; Monasticism; the Norman Conquests; and Medieval warfare. The resource would be of value to anyone with an interest in the teaching of Medieval history, and further education or undergraduate level.
Medievalists.net is a website offering news and resources relating to all aspects of medieval studies. The site is aimed at anyone interested in the medieval period, from academics to interested readers, to re-enactors and beyond. The site provides resources or links under different headings, including: news (stories in the media with medieval connections); books; videos; academia; fiction; movies; music; blogs; travel; and games. By far the largest and most varied of these is the 'articles' section, which provides a large database of interdisciplinary academic articles, each tagged by subject and keywords for easier browsing using the site's 'Subject Guide' (the site can also be searched in its entirety by keyword). Subjects covered include: archaeology; art history; literature (several languages); drama; demography; and economics. The database is a work in progress, with over 400 articles already at the time of writing, some available as PDF files and others as text. Videos of a number of academic lectures on various subjects are also available, as are links to book reviews and information on courses in medieval subjects worldwide. This is a varied and interesting resource, covering a wide scope of subject areas.
The Middle English Compendium (MEC) is a reference collection of English texts dating from between 1100 and 1500. It has been designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary (MED), a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and an associated network of electronic resources, including a corpus of Middle English prose and verse texts. Hypertext links offer quick connections between, for example, an MED citation, bibliographical information about its source, and an electronic version of the source (where one exists).The corpus of prose and verse texts contains over 140 texts, which can be searched for individual words and phrases. Results give the total number of occurrences in the corpus, the keyword-in-context and a brief reference (linked to the full reference in the bibliography). This site would be of use to those studying Middle English texts, either from a literary or linguistic standpoint.
The Middle English Grammar Project (MEG) is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and based at the University of Stavanger, Norway and the University of Glasgow. The eventual aim of the project is to produce a reference grammar of Middle English, based on a corpus of electronic texts. The project's website provides: an introduction to the project and its methods; a description of work currently being done by project members; a list of related sites; a list of related publications by project staff; news and contact information. The site also gives access to HTML and PDF versions of the MEG corpus of electronic texts, which can be browsed by dialect region. This site would be of interest to those studying linguistics or Middle English.
The Middle English Lyrics Web pages are part of the Luminarium Anthology of Middle English Literature and offer resources and links for related study. Not published until the seventeenth century, these short, subjective, personal verses were written to be sung by one person accompanied by a lyre. The website offers a beautifully illustrated series of the texts of selected lyrics, as well as links to online full-text editions and excerpts of the lyrics being sung. The resources section includes links to essays on: types of medieval lyrics, such as the carol and momento mori; and medieval lyrics in relation to the development of the sonnet. Also useful are links to extracts from 'The Cambridge History of English and American Literature' on: lyrics; English song collections; and ballads. These pages would be useful to students of medieval English literature, and perhaps also early music.
The Middle English Plays Web pages are part of the Luminarium Anthology of Middle English Literature website and offer a general introduction to medieval drama. In the Introduction, Kathleen Campbell discusses: early medieval drama, Mystery cycles and their staging; and why the productions died out in the mid-sixteenth century. There are links to two complete play texts: the Wakefield Cycle from the Electronic Text Centre at the University of Virginia; and the York Cycle at the University of Michigan. There are also links to additional resources, including: general essays on medieval drama; a series of bibliographies from courses at universities in the US; a number of relevant websites; and a series of extracts from 'The Cambridge History of English and American Literature' on the origins of early English drama. The website mainly presents links to sites relating to medieval drama rather than offering original research, but it is a helpful starting point for students interested in the subject, and a useful teaching resource.
The University of Virginia's Middle English Text Collection is part of the Electronic Text Center, which provides access to numerous electronic texts, many of which are freely accessible (most of which originate from the Oxford Text Archive). The Middle English collection makes available over 60 works or anthologies including: The alliterative Morte Arthure; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; the York plays; the Towneley plays; an anthology of Chancery English; Chaucer's Canterbury's Tales (Robinson edition); Gower's Confessio Amantis; various works by Robert Henryson; Langland's The Vision of Piers Plowman; the corpus of Paston family letters; and Layamon's Brut (two witnesses). The texts are both browsable and searchable. The search interface permits the searching of the entire corpus or specific works, as well as proximity searching and limiting by: date; author; or title. This would be of use to students of Middle English Literature or medieval studies.
The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS) website provides information for scholars and others interested in medieval and Renaissance Drama who would like to join this academic association or contribute to its work. The Society organises annual meetings, and sponsors research projects, as well as publishing related material in the journal 'Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama' and in a twice-yearly newsletter. Full texts of the newsletter (giving details of: relevant news; announcements; and events) from 2003 onwards are available online. Also available on the site are: the Society's constitution; details on how to become a member; current award entry information; and details of past award winners.
The New Chaucer Society Web page is the online home of an international organisation that seeks to promote research into the 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his works. The Society: acts as a forum for teachers and scholars; organises a biennial conference; and publishes the journal 'Studies in the Age of Chaucer'. The site details the activities and governance of the Society, promotes forthcoming conferences, and provides (restricted) access to the members' directory. Full subscription details are given for those wishing to join the Society, as well as details of the Society's journal, including submission guidelines and tables of contents of past issues. There is also a useful section of links to other Chaucer resources. One of the most useful resources on the site is the Chaucer Bibliography Online, a publicly accessible database compiled from the annotated Chaucer bibliography published annually in the Society's journal. Teachers and students of Chaucer's works would find this website useful.
The Online Medieval Sources website provides a searchable bibliography of texts written in the Middle Ages, including: private letters; wills; household accounts; literary works; philosophical treatises; chronicles; court proceedings; and church records, which are available in printed or electronic form. The database is easily navigated using the comprehensive search form that gives help on: subject headings; record types; and medieval authors. The database entries themselves provide detailed information on the works cited, including: contents; genre; archival reference; and language, as well as hyperlinks to any online sources. The database would be invaluable to researchers and students working on history or literature of the medieval period.
'The Oxford Companion to English Literature', is a full text reference source, offered online by eNotes. The version offered appears to be the full version of the 6th Edition edited by Margaret Drabble, dating from 2000 and containing over 8,300 entries presented in a simple A-Z manner. It can also be searched by keyword. The Companion offers short author biographies, summaries of stories, novels and poems, and outline descriptions of various movements and genres in literature. No user registration appears to be required to use this resource, but only part of entries is available free. For full access to the content of the Companion a monthly or annual fee is required; access is in plain HTML format.
The Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence (PCEEC) consists of 4970 letters from 84 different collections, written between 1410 and 1695 and contains some 2.2 million word tokens in total. The corpus was compiled by the Sociolinguistics and Language History project team at the Department of English, University of Helsinki. The corpus is part of speech and syntactically annotated and the website gives information about the different tagging schemes used. The corpus itself is distributed by the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) and it may be used subject to copyright restrictions. The corpus is designed to be compatible with CorpusSearch, which is a suite of search tools designed by Beth Randall at the University of Pennsylvania. This is a valuable resource for anyone researching or studying the development of the English language. The Corpus can also be ordered via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website, (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)), on completion of a request access form.
Piers Plowman is an online electronic facsimile of a fifteenth-century manuscript copy of William Langland's famous devotional poem. The manuscript (NLW MS 733B) is held by the National Library of Wales, and the facsimile forms part of the Library's 'Digital Mirror', which provides images of some of the institution's most important holdings. The manuscript is incomplete, but contains an unusual variant of the poem, which is thought by some to illustrate the evolution of the text. The digital images are large and clear, but the manuscript itself is sometimes hard to read, having been originally copied onto poor-quality parchment. Along with the images, the site provides: biographical information on Langland; a short description of the poem; and a brief history and description of the manuscript. This resource would be of interest to Langland scholars, or those studying medieval literature and manuscripts more generally.
The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive website is the home page of a collaborative project that aims to create electronic and printed resources to facilitate comparison between the 54 extant manuscripts of the three versions of Langland's poem. As of 2007, 5 CDs of material have been published. Some of the MSS already completed include: Huntington Library MS 128; British Library MS Lansdowne 398; Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson Poetry 39; British Library MS Additional 35287; Bodleian MS Laud. misc. 581; and Oriel College MS 79. The project has made use of some original MSS, as well as microfilm and facsimilies. The website provides little free material, but does give information on the background and processes of the project. The electronic archive will facilitate the work of students, teachers and editors of Piers Plowman manuscripts.
Poculi Ludique Societas (PLS) is the website of a group that specialises in the sponsorship and performance of early drama (from the period 1100-1650). The group is affiliated with the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies, and also collaborates in research on early drama with the Records of Early English Drama project. The website provides an introduction and brief history of the PLS, as well as details of: Board members; contact details; current performances; and the current season of plays. Of particular interest to drama historians and those interested in recreation is the gallery of photographs from PLS performances, including: 'The Castle of Perseverance'; N-Town; York Plays; and plays from the Chester cycle. Also of use to students of this subject are the related links section, and the PLS newsletter.
This website, as part of the larger TEAMS Middle English Texts website, provides a very accessible online version of Richard Osberg's annotated edition of the complete works of Laurence Minot. Minot's eleven historical poems, which celebrate a series of victories of Edward I on the Scottish border and on the Continent between 1333 and 1352, are presented in two frames, which simultaneously display the full-text edition (with Modern English translations in the margin) and the footnotes. The footnotes are hyper-linked with the main text, which makes this edition particularly accessible. The site also reproduces Osberg's detailed introduction, with scholarly information on Laurence Minot's life, patronage and poetic style, as well as on the early-fifteenth-century manuscript (Cotton Galba E.ix)in which the poems have been preserved. Finally, the site includes a select, but rather exhaustive bibliography on Minot.
The Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies is an institution devoted to advanced study 'of the material and intellectual cultures of the Middle Ages'. The Institute is affiliated with the University of Toronto, and has its own library which houses an important collection of medieval resources, including microfilmed copies of more than 450 manuscripts, and papal letters stored at the Vatican. The PIMS website provides information on the Institute and its research, as well as the library and its resources. Of interest to researchers and students of medieval studies is the 'Engines of Electronic Enterprise' section, which comprises an extensive collection of Web links relating to the field, and information on PIMS publications.
The production and use of English manuscripts 1060 to 1220 is the website for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project of the same title. The project intends to 'identify, analyse and evaluate all manuscripts containing English written in England between 1060 and 1220'. A collaboration between the Universities of Leeds and Leicester, the project aims to produce a corpus of material in order to address fundamental questions about the evolution of medieval English textual culture. The project will also analyse the manuscripts': place of origin; contents; audience; and reasons why they were written. The status of written English in relation to French and Latin will also be addressed. The site provides information on activities and publications by the Project and its team, as well as a catalogue of manuscripts, an online newsletter archive, and a related bibliography. The work of this project would be of interest to researchers and students of: linguistics; manuscripts studies; and English.
The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales is a translation of Chaucer's Middle English work by Louis Francis. The text can be downloaded free of charge, as a zipped collection of PDF files from the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS). Francis's translation is presented side by side with the original version, for easy comparison. For the purpose of this translation, the general prologue is treated as bardic in intent, being Chaucer's own wry observations of the contemporary social parade. The translator hopes to evoke the spirit of the original, and the translation is intended to be as much an interpretation as a scholastic endeavour.
Prose Merlin is an online version of John Conlee's printed edition of this medieval text, presented as part of the TEAMS Middle English Texts website. The original 'Prose Merlin' survives in one manuscript (Cambridge University Library MS Ff. 3. 11). The text covers the history of Merlin and the rise of King Arthur. The manuscript is thought to date to the mid-fifteenth century, predating Thomas Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur', making it possibly the earliest Arthurian text written in English prose. The reproduction of the printed edition of the text is provided for individual use only; permission from Medieval Institute Publications must be obtained before downloading and copying for course use. This site would be useful for students of medieval English or history.
The York Corpus Christi Pageant Simulator (PSim) is a Java applet that is designed to illustrate how it would have been possible for 48 separate medieval pageants (short plays) that make up the York Cycle to have been performed in one single day. The applet uses a modified version of John Speed's 17th-century map of Yorkshire, upon which a number of known playing places or 'stations' in York are marked. The application then simulates the movement of the pageant wagons as they play at one station after another, until all the performances have been completed at all stations. The simulator can be modified to show: varying play timings; numbers of stations; and numbers of pageants, according to known academic theories on the mechanics of medieval performances in York. The website also provides some notes on the staging, context and history of the play, as well as news items related to the study of medieval drama. The applet is slow to load in some browsers, but this would be a useful tool for teaching medieval drama to undergraduate students, in tandem with study of the play texts and related historical records.
The Quadrivium Project is an online resource for training doctoral students in Medieval English textual studies. The site is hosted by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Glasgow and is run in partnership with the Universities of: York; Birmingham; Queen Mary's London; and Queen's University in Belfast. The site provides a portal to training materials on: language (mainly Middle English); palaeography and codicology; and textual criticism and editorial practices. Another section on 'socio-historical context' is also under construction at the time of writing. The types of materials available on the site range from links to catalogues of medieval manuscripts and digitised manuscripts, to brief discussions on textual editing processes. The project also provides links to the partner projects and institutions, and to other related websites. This resource would be of interest to postgraduates working in: Medieval English; history; or manuscript studies.
A Repertorium of Middle English Prose Sermons offers an online sample of the English language section of an international project designed to further the development of sermon studies. Its purpose is to introduce both the academic and general researcher to the sermon as a resource for the study of medieval history, literature, and culture. The site includes extracts from the hard copy published by Brepols in 2007, as well as images from the manuscripts. It also offers a database of almost 3500 quotations found in Middle English sermons: this feature is not included in the printed version, so represents a complement to the hard copy of the text. This part of the project is ongoing and fully searchable. Researchers may locate particular texts, quotations, or authors through a simple or advanced search, with full instructions for achieving the best results included on the site. Also available is a useful bibliography and links page. The website's production was enabled by an award from the AHRC's Supplementary Pilot Research Dissemination scheme.
The Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama (ROMARD) website provides information on the journal of the same name. The journal, published annually, is concerned with research into medieval and pre-Shakespearian Renaissance textual and theatre history. Content is often weighted towards (but not limited to) English texts and their performance. The site gives details on how to subscribe, as well as tables of contents for ROMARD (from 2002 onwards) and the journal's previous incarnation, 'Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama (RORD) (1994 - 2001). Scholars in this field will also find submission details and a link to the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society, whose members regularly contribute to the journal. It should be noted that this site does not display correctly in some Web browsers.
Scriptorium is an online digital archive of manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books dating from the 15th to 18th centuries. The archive is the work of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, and is still progressing. At the time of writing the site gives access to images of three codexes from the University of Cambridge: a French Biblical miscellany from the 1540s; an English miscellany of verse dated c. 1640; and a 16th-century collection of carols in English and Latin. The images are of a high quality and can be enlarged for clearer viewing. The images are accompanied by: a description of the codex; a summary of its contents; and a bibliography. In the future the project hopes to provide access to manuscripts from some of its collaborators, including: the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds; and Holkham Hall in Norfolk. Users of the site can also access: details of project news and events; a 'Provenance Image Database'; related articles; and a link to an online palaeography course. This site would be of use to those studying western manuscripts and literature.
The ;Selected Poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer' website provides online access to electronic texts of many of the author's best-known works. Several sections of the 'Canterbury Tales' are included, along with: excerpts from 'Troilus and Criseyde', the complete texts of the 'Parliament of Fowls' (or 'Parlement of Fowls'); and 'Truth'. The Hengwrt manuscript was used as the source for the text of the Canterbury Tales, from which: the General Prologue; the Miller's Tale; Reeve's Tale; Cook's Tale; Wife of Bath's Tale; Friar's Tale; Summoner's Tale; Shipman's Tale; and Pardoner's Tale are taken. The site provides basic, partly-annotated electronic texts, with all editorial conventions explained clearly and simply, which may prove useful to undergraduates needing to quickly locate specific phrases or conduct other such searches.
'Siân Echard's Medieval and Arthurian Pages' is a website that brings together links to a number of Echard's own Web pages on medieval literature, which she originally created to support her teaching at the University of British Columbia. The material included is conceived of as being supplementary to Echard's teaching rather than free-standing, but by drawing these resources together she provides a wealth of illustrative material for the study of Arthurian literature, as well as of medieval drama and the lives and works of John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer. Types of material provided or linked to include: manuscript facsimiles; modern authors' websites; illustrations of Arthurian stories; chronologies; runic alphabets; and information on Arthurian history. This website would be useful for teaching undergraduate literature courses, as well as a starting point for research.
The 'Englishing of Romance : familiarising Sir Orfeo' website is the complete text of a university thesis (by Robert Sanderson, University of Liverpool) on 'Sir Orfeo', a Middle English romance. This romance has been dated to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century, and is identified in its prologue as a Breton lay (a short story composed in rhyme, similar to those of Marie de France). The thesis discusses: the sources of the Orpheus myth; 'Sir Orfeo' as a Breton lay (including sections on the Celtic elements in 'Sir Orfeo'); and 'Sir Orfeo' as a minstrel text. This website would be useful to students studying lays or romances as genres, as well as 'Sir Orfeo' more specifically. The thesis does not provide the full text of the romance itself, but instead points to editions in the bibliography.
Forming part of the beautifully presented Luminarium Anthology of Middle English Literature, the Sir Thomas Malory Web page provides links to a number of resources which together make up a detailed overview of the life and work of Sir Thomas Malory (ca.1405-1471). Malory is the author of 'Le Morte D'Arthur', the most influential interpretation of the Arthurian legend, published by Caxton in 1485. The website comprises six sections covering topics including: biographies of Malory; Malory's works; essays and articles on Malory; and additional resources (including images from his printed works). The section on Malory's works includes links to modern English excerpts from 'Le Morte D'Arthur' and to the complete text in Middle English published in 1889 (made available online by the University of Michigan). The additional resources include links to: further essays; a short bibliography; and a substantial collection of images of Arthurian themes. This site would be of use to English and medieval studies students.
The TEAMS website is the online home of the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages. The organization was founded by the Medieval Academy of America to support the teaching activities of its members and is now a non-profit organisation supporting the teaching of medieval studies at all educational levels. TEAMS projects include: the publication of a series of teaching texts in association with the University of Western Michigan's Medieval Institute Publications; the maintenance of an online textual archive of the literature of the Middle Ages; and outreach work with secondary schools. Details of all these activities are published on the site. The online teaching resources for primary and secondary educators are amongst the most useful features of this site. Resources include detailed lesson plans for teaching different age groups, providing: a checklist of equipment needed; a glossary of key vocabulary for each unit; and suggestions for evaluating pupil performance during each task. Activities for younger children include: music; movement; and re-enactment exercises. Online texts are accompanied by an introduction and suggestions for further reading. There is also a comprehensive bibliography on the site.
TEAMS (The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages) Middle English Texts is a website whose aim is to make important Middle English texts that are not available as student editions readily accessible to teachers and students. Titles in this online resource include: "Com, my swete, com, my flour"; "The Dispute between Mary and the Cross"; Gavin Douglas's "The Palis of Honoure"; and the poems of Robert Henryson. Each work comes with a scholarly introduction, which is usually extensive, and is accompanied by a bibliography. The texts themselves are footnoted, with the screen normally split into two frames, allowing the footnotes and text to be displayed simultaneously. Some of the longer texts use the alternative method of having hyperlinks to their footnotes.This is an excellent collection of electronic texts from the medieval period, and the site will certainly prove useful to scholars. The texts are available for individual use initially; permission must be requested in order to make multiple copies for course use.
Thomas Usk : the testament of love is an online Middle English edition of Thomas Usk's 14th-century work, edited by R. Allen Shoaf, and based on William Thynne's 1532 edition. Usk was an English politician who was imprisoned in Newgate and executed in 1388. The 'Testament of Love' is a prose allegory written to justify the actions that resulted in his imprisonment. Although not traditionally regarded as a triumph of literary style, the work casts light on the period in which it was written, and mentions contemporary writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer. The edition provides linked footnotes and a glossary to the text, displayed in separate frames from the main text. The site also provides an e-text of Usk's 'Appeal' and some extracts from the inquisitions taken at the trial of John Northampton. Students of medieval English literature would find this site of interest.
Tolkien Library is a website compiled by Pieter Collier, a remarkable Belgian collector of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973). Designed originally to create a bibliographical catalogue of his growing collection of 650-plus items, it has now evolved towards a general Tolkien collector resource. As the sub-title suggests, there is a bibliography of works by and about Tolkien with interlinks providing more details for those items in his collection; an illustrated biography of Tolkien with reviews, articles and essays about him. Visitors can sign-up to receive an electronic newsletter which is fully archived on the site. Described as "A descriptive and illustrated guide to collecting Tolkien and Tolkien related books," it is truly the "One library to rule them all."
The Towneley Plays Project is a website that provides transcriptions of a number of these medieval religious plays. The transcriptions are taken from facsimiles of the original 15th-century manuscripts by students of Professor Murray McGillivray's English course at the University of Calgary. The texts of eight of the 32 medieval plays are available on the site, including: the Creation; Cain and Abel; Noah; Abraham and Isaac; the first and second shepherds' pageants; Herod the Great; and the 'Buffeting of Christ'. The project also provides: some background information on the resource; a very short history of the plays; and scans of some alphabetical characters that appear in the manuscripts. This resource would be of interest to students studying medieval drama, as well as students of medieval English palaeography.
'A Treatise on the Astrolabe by Geoffrey Chaucer' is an online database of verbs from the text of Chaucer's 14th-century treatise. The resource is the work of an undergraduate student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland, in collaboration with their supervisor. The database is searched by using a form that enables users to choose: conjugation; classification; and form of the verbs, as well as whether etymology and meanings are displayed. The resource also provides: a description of the database; a brief history of Middle English; a section on verb morphology; and a brief biography of Chaucer. The site also gives an introduction to the text of Chaucer's treatise (but not the text itself) and a short history of the astrolabe as an object. This site would be of interest to students studying Middle English language and literature.
Twelve Websites on Julian of Norwich is an online resource that makes an immense amount of valuable information available to students and scholars interested in this medieval Anchorite or any aspect of women's lives in the later Middle Ages. Directed by Julia Bolton Holloway, these pages offer a comprehensive introduction to Julian's spiritual and often mystical text, the 'Showing of Love' (also known as the 'Showings' or as 'Revelations of Divine Love'. Contained within are many images and analyses of original manuscript folios, partial transcriptions of the text, and essays. Users will also find many other related Web pages dedicated to the cloister in which Julian lived and the materials to which we suppose she had access. In addition, some resources on the medieval woman's relationship to the Bible are provided, plus information on medieval mystics and theologians who lived both before and after Julian. Special attention is paid to St. Birgitta of Sweden: the complete Latin text of her 'Revelaciones' plus Thomas Gascoine's 'Life of St Birgitta' are included. A Google search utility enables the user to overcome any difficulties in navigating this intricate and colourfully presented website. Lecturers may welcome the wide variety of manuscript images and details on the development of the 'Showing' itself.
Using Computer Technology to Teach Medieval Texts is a website that introduces to the technophobic academic methods and ideas for class-based teaching using computers. The emphasis of the site is on strategies for incorporating technology into teaching rather than on the actual content of lessons, although sample lesson plans are provided, mostly concerning the General Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The site begins by introducing hypertext and the possibilities for students to publish work on the web. It then goes on to look at the potential of online discussion groups. The benefits (and disadvantages) of CD-ROMs are pondered. Finally there are links to other websites developed to help with the teaching of medieval texts. Throughout the site, annotated links are given to materials and more technical courses that might supplement the basic discussion provided. The sample lesson plans are mostly fairly obvious, but may be of help to the tutor lost as to where to begin. This site will prove useful to academics thinking of using electronic teaching aids, but unsure as to how to go about it. Although aimed specifically at those teaching medieval literature, much of the information on the site is applicable across subject boundaries. The emphasis is on class-based assignments, but a little creativity should suggest other potential teaching applications.
This website outlines a three year AHRC-funded project to create a digital copy of the important Vernon Manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The “biggest and most important surviving late medieval English manuscript”, access to the extensive and lavishly illuminated Vernon Manuscript is currently very limited for reasons of conservation and the “sheer scale of the volume”. This project will publish a DVD-format digital copy, with full colour images and searchable descriptions and transcriptions of every page. The website gives details of the project team and partners.
Voice of the Shuttle : Anglo-Saxon and Medieval is an annotated list of Web links relating to the study of medieval English literature. The links are part of the University of California's Voice of the Shuttle online database, which provides extensive links for teaching and learning in humanities subjects. The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval section is divided for easier browsing by themes, including: general resources; 'Authors and Anonymous Works'; 'Manuscripts and Manuscript Study'; journals; newsgroups; courses and teaching resources; and conferences. This resource would be of great interest to those studying medieval English literature or manuscripts.
The 'What Every Medievalist Should Know' (WEMSK) website consists of an extensive annotated bibliography covering all aspects of medieval studies. It is intended for graduate students rather than specialists, although undergraduates may find it useful as well. Everything from 'Mechanics in the Middle Ages' to 'Old Church Slavic Literature' is covered, with topics being posted on a weekly basis. The site is divided into the weeks on which the topics were added, and then according to specific topic area. Topics can also be browsed alphabetically. Each topic is introduced with recommended starting reading and helpful remarks as to where to take one's studies from there, with sub-lists for specific fields within the overall topic. Each topic page concludes with links to other electronic resources. This is a site with clear aims, which it addresses admirably. The new graduate student beginning research in any aspect of medieval life or literature will find direction and useful starting points here.
The Wessex Parallel WebTexts project is making scholarly editions of Middle English texts available, for free, on the Internet for student use. The heart of the site is a fully-searchable and growing anthology of prose and verse texts with a particular emphasis on Middle English lyrics, especially the Harley Lyrics (British Library MS Harley 2253). Translations include: The Land of Cockaygne; The Owl and the Nightingale; The Thrush and the Nightingale; and Winner and Waster. The works and their translations are beautifully presented in parallel, often accompanied by relevant images. Background information on the texts is provided to aid teaching together with an index of first lines. The site also includes details of the linguistic difficulties that arise when translating Middle English and there is a detailed introduction to Middle English grammar. The project is directed by Bella Millett (University of Southampton) and received funding from the English Subject Centre.
The website of the York Doomsday Project provides information on a research project based at Lancaster University. The Project explores the 15th-century York Mystery Plays and their various social, intellectual, religious, and theatrical contexts and aims to collect all surviving evidence of performances, making the results available to scholars and teachers of medieval drama in the shape of: high resolution images; transcriptions; and interactive CD-ROMs. Information on this site includes: project progress reports; notes on the archives; and information on some of the individual manuscripts connected with the project.
The York Mystery Plays website, 'Illumination: from shadow into light' is the work of the National Centre for Early Music in York, and gives a history of performance of the York cycle in its home city. The site discusses the nature of the plays, and the manner in which they have been performed in the past, including more recent revivals involving York trade guilds. Of particular interest to theatre historians and students of medieval drama is the archive of: photographs; interviews; and other materials relating to performances, which can be searched by title and year. There are sound clips available for some of the interviews, but otherwise a reference to holdings at the National Centre for Early Music is given. A short section of related links is also provided. The site is well designed and informative, and a good resource for those interested in the performance of medieval drama, or anyone studying the texts of the York plays themselves.