The French of England: Annotated Short Bibliography and Resources


  • Anglo-Norman Dictionary [A superbly user-friendly online dictionary that has changed the Oxford English Dictionaries etymologies for many words in English and that is important for all study of English and French. On the site are many of W. Rothwell’s lexicographic studies; a database of source texts; introductions to Anglo-Norman and much else]  For more dictionaries, see Introduction to the Language under Teaching.
  • Dean, Ruth J., with the collaboration of Maureen B. M. Boulton, Manual of Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts, ANTS, OP 3 (London, 1999).  [An indispensable listing of texts, manuscripts and editions vital for AN research as well as deeply informative for even the casual reader.  The single most important work for constructing the literary field and with many works of historiographical importance.  Some 986 items are catalogued, ranging from major works of romance, chanson de geste, historiographical, hagiographical writing, treatises, encyclopaedias, fabliaux, lyrics etc right down to individually tailored variants of prayers in psalters and other books into the fifteenth century]
  • ARLIMA (Les Archives de littérature du Moyen Âge[ARLIMA increasingly includes insular French works in its data base: it is not always thorough about the English-language bibliography, but it can still be a very useful resource, listing MSS, editions, secondary works and sometimes very usefully updating Dean with Boulton]


  • Ailes, M. and A. Putter. ‘The French of Medieval England.” In European Francophonie: The Social, Political and Cultural History of a Prestige Language, ed. V. Rjéoutski, G. Argent, D. Offord, 51-78. Bern: 2014. [Valuable overview]
  • Baswell, C., C. Cannon, K. Kerby-Fulton, J. Wogan-Browne. “Competing Archives: French and its Cultural Locations in Medieval England.” Speculum 90.3 (2015): 635-700. [Demonstrates something of the different stories shaped by our archival choices]
  • Busby, Keith. Codex and Context: Reading Old French Narrative Verse in Manuscript, 2 vols., Faux Titre 221, 222. Amsterdam: 2002. [Important study of among other things, the geography of the codex, the immense mobility of medieval texts, and their plurality of identity and function]
  • Butterfield, Ardis. The Familar Enemy: Chaucer, Language, and Nation in the Hundred Years War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. [Major study of the complexities of English/French inter-relations: subtle account of the relations between England and one of its important allies, enemies, neighbours]
  • Carruthers, M., ed. Language in Medieval Britain. Networks and Exchanges, Proceedings of the 2013 Harlaxton Symposium. Donington: 2014.  [Not seen by me yet, but clearly important and interesting topic]
  • Durkin, P. Borrowed Words: A History of Loanwords in English. Oxford: 2013. [Philip Durkin of the Oxford English Dictionary has worked closely with the Anglo-Norman Dictionary: this is an important new account]
  • Lusignan, Serge. La langue des rois au Moyen Âge. Paris: 2004. [Everything by Lusignan is fascinating and important and affects how we think about language (s) in England and NW Europe]
  • —. Parler vulgairement: Les intellectuels et la langue français aux XIIIe et XIVe siècle, 2nd edn. Paris: 1986, 1987.
  • —. “La naissance d’une littérature en franceis en Angleterre au XII siècle.” In L’introuvable unité du français: contacts et variations linguistiques en Europe et en Amérique (XIIe-XVIIIe siècle), 16-27. Ed. S. Lusignan, F. Martineau, Y. C. Morin and P. Cohen. Laval: 2011.  [yes, that’s where the French got the idea., in Bretaigne, jadis Albion, ore Engletere, …..!]
  • —. Essai d’histoire sociolinguistique: le français picard au Moyen Âge. Paris: 2012a. [Important study of one of England’s most crucial external political, mercantile a and cultural areas of concern and exchange]
  • —. “Á chacun son français : la communication entre l’Angleterre et les régions picardes et flamandes (xiiie et xive siècle).” IIème journée d’études anglo-normandes: approches techniques, littéraires et historiques, ed. A. Crépin and A. Leclant, 117-133. Paris: 2012b.
  • Morreale, Laura and Nicholas Paul, eds (forthcoming): Crusading Communities and Contacts: The French of Outremer. [Selected proceedings of the Fordham conference on the French of Outremer in 2014: exciting opening up of thought and study of this crucial Mediterranean/Arabic world lingua franca, with which was of course used by the English crown, crusaders and merchants in their Mediterranean dealings]
  • Ormrod, W. M. ‘The Use of English: Language, Law, and Political Culture in Fourteenth Century England.” Speculum (2003) 78: 750-87. [Crucial article dismantling the myth of  English as a ‘state’ language under Henry V]
  • Salter, Elizabeth. English and International: Studies in the literature, art and patronage of medieval England. Ed. by Derek Pearsall and Nicolette Zeeman. Cambridge: 1988, repr 2010. [A classic of transregional, multimodal and multilingual thinking about literature in England]
  • Short, Ian. “Patrons and Polyglots: French literature in 12th-century England.” Anglo-Norman Studies 14 (1992), 229-49. [Foundational]
  • —. “Literary Culture at the Court of Henry II.” In Henry II: New Interpretations, eds. C. Harper-Bill & N. Vincent, 335-361. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2007. [Succinct account by a master philological, palaeographical, textual scholar and literary thinker of Anglo-Norman studies.  A further selection of important articles by Short follows]:
  • —. “Anglice loqui nesciunt: monoglots in Anglo-Norman England.” Cultura Neolatina 69 (2009): 245-62.
  • —. “On Bilingualism in Anglo-Norman England.” Romance Philology 33 (1979-80), 467-79.
  • —. “L’Avènement du texte vernaculaire: la mise en recueil.” In Théories et pratiques de l’écriture au moyen âge, eds. E Baumgartner & C Marchello-Nizia, 11-24. Littérales, 4 Paris: Université de Paris X Nanterre, 1988.
  • —. “Tam Angli quam Franci: self-definition in Anglo-Norman England.” Anglo-Norman Studies 18 (1996), 153-75.
  • —. “Denis Piramus and the truth of Marie’s Lais.” Cultura Neolatina 67 (2007), 319-40.
  • —. “L’Anglo-normand au siècle de Chaucer : un regain de statistiques.” In Le Plurilinguisme au Moyen Age: Orient – Occident, éd. Claire Kappler & Suzanne Thiolier-Méjean, 67-77. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2009.
  • —. “Verbatim et literatim:  oral and written French in 12th-century Britain,” Vox Romanica 68 (2009), 156-68.
  • —. “Anglice loqui nesciunt: monoglots in Anglo-Norman England.” Cultura Neolatina 69 (2009), 245-62.
  • —. ‘Another Look at “le faus franceis.”’ Nottingham Medieval Studies 54 (2010), 35-55.
  • Townend, Matthew, Elizabeth Tyler and Thomas O’Donnell. ‘The Long Eleventh Century.” In The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature, ed. Clare Lees. Cambridge University Press, 2012. [Important chapter on the polyglot culture of early England. Look out also for Tyler’s forthcoming book Crossing Conquests from Toronto UP, 2016]
  • Wogan-Browne, J., et al, ed. Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, c. 1100-c. 1500. York: York Medieval Press with Boydell and Brewer, 2009. [Introduction gives an account of the current state of the field, the necessity of its integration in English literary history and some indications of the effects of that integration. Essays cover a wide range across the Middle Ages]


  • Kumler, Aden. Translating Truth: Ambitious Images and Religious Knowledge in Late Medieval France and England. New Haven: 2011.
  • Sandler, L. F. The Psalter of Robert de Lisle in the British Library. London: 1983, repr 1999.
  • —. Gothic Manuscripts, 1285-1385, 2 vols. A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles 5. London: 1986.
  • —. Illuminators and Patrons in Fourteenth-Century England: The Psalter and Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the Manuscripts of the Bohum Family. London: 2014.
  • Smith, Kathryn A. Art, Identity and Devotion in Fourteenth-Century England: Three Women Patrons and their Books of Hours. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
  • —. The Taymouth Hours. London: British Library, 2011.


  • Avril, François and Patricia Danz Stirneman. Manuscrits enluminés d’origine insulaire, VIIe-XXe siècleParis: Bibliothèque nationale (France), Département des manuscrits, 1987.
  • Busby, K. Codex and Context: Reading Old French Verse Narrative in Manuscript, 2 vols., Faux Titre 221, 222. Amsterdam: 2002.
  • Careri, M., C. Ruby and I. Short, with T. Nixon and P. Stirnemann. Livres et écritures en français et en occitan au XIIe siècle: Catalogue illustré. Rome: 2011.
  • Careri, Maria, Françoise Fery-Hue, Françoise Gasparri, Geneviève Hasenohr, Gillette Labory, Sylvie Lefèvre, Anne-Françoise Leurquin, Christine Ruby. Album de manuscrits français du XIIIe siècle Mise en page et mise en texte. Roma: Viella, 2001.
  • Kerby-Fulton, Kathryn, Maidie Hilmo and Linda Olson. Opening up Middle English Manuscripts: Literary and Visual Approaches. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012. [Gives attention to French]   

OTHER WORKS: MULTILINGUALISM/LANGUAGE/SOCIO-LINGUISTICS (see also Introduction to the Language under Teaching)

The pioneering volume that crystallized perception of multilingualism as a field is David Trotter’s collection, Multilingualism in later Medieval Britain (Woodbridge, 2000).  A good collection on earlier multilingualism is Elizabeth Tyler’s Conceptualizing Multilingualism in England, c. 800 -c. 1250 (Turnhout, 2011).

Three classic studies are to be found in the short but cogent essays by Stein (“Multilingualism”), Baswell (“Multilingualism on the Page”), and Warren (“Translation”) in Paul Strohm, ed. Middle English: Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature (2007). [If you’re beginning to explore multilingualism, these are a good starting place.  If you’ve been thinking about it for years, these are still stimulating classic pieces to re-read]

  • Clark, Cecily. “Women’s Names in Post-Conquest England: Observations and Speculations.” Speculum 53 (1978): 223-51.
  • Crane, Susan. “Social Aspects of Bilingualism in the Thirteenth Century.” Thirteenth Century England 6 (1997): 103-116.
  • Frankis, John. “The Social Context of Vernacular Writing in Thirteenth Century England: The Evidence of the Manuscripts.” Thirteenth-Century England 1 (1986): 175-184.
  • Kibbee, Douglas A. For to Speke French Trewely: The French Language in England 1000-1600: Description and Instruction. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1991.
  • Porter, David W. “The Earliest Texts with English and French.” Anglo-Saxon England (1999): 87-110.
  • Romaine, Suzanne. Bilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989.
  • Schendl, H. and L. Wright. “Introduction and ‘Code-switching in Early English: Historical Background and Methodological and Theoretical Issues.” In Code-switching in Early English,1-14, 15-45. Berlin: 2011.  [This is a very useful introduction and overview to a fascinating area of study whose very terms are the subject of hot debate (doesn’t the very idea of code-switching re-install boundaries between languages?), but which has the power to sensitize everyone to the fascinatingly mixed character of English] 

For further literary and cultural sources, see the Literature section under Teaching.