French of England Translation Series (FRETS)

“These excellent volumes suggest a promising future for the FRETS series …. because of the superb quality of their translations and scholarship, these editions will doubtlessly serve as important resources for scholars and for courses on both Continental and English literature.”

Series Editors: Thelma S. Fenster and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Translations in this series are based upon the best available edition. Translators are asked to consider emendations or corrections as may be proposed by reviewers of editions, and, where desirable, to verify published and edited transcriptions against manuscript text(s). If manuscript versions are known to differ significantly from the base text selected for the edition, translators must consider whether there are sometimes grounds for preferring alternative readings; if so, these are noted briefly and explained.

Translators are normally asked to translate into prose in English, regardless of whether the original French text is poetry or prose. Translations aim at the highest possible faithfulness to meaning and stylistic effect, as long as readability and simple elegance in English are not sacrificed. Each paragraph of the translation states inclusive line numbers for the portion of text translated in that paragraph.

Titles in the French of England Translation Series (FRETS)

FRETS volumes published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Matthew Paris: The History of St. Edward the King
Translated by Thelma S. Fenster and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
FRETS vol. 1 (MRTS vol. 341), 2008

Matthew Paris: The Life of St. Alban
Translated by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne and Thelma S. Fenster with translations from the Latin version by Thomas O’Donnell and Margaret Lamont; essays by Christopher Baswell and Patricia Quinn
FRETS vol. 2 (MRTS vol. 342), 2010 

Boeve de Haumtone and Gui de Warewic: Two Anglo-Norman Romances
Translated by Judith Weiss
FRETS vol. 3 (MRTS vol. 342), 2008 

The Birth of Romance in England:  Four Twelfth-Century Romances in the French of England  (The Romance of Horn, The Folie Tristan, The Lai of Haveloc and Amis and Amilun)
Translated by Judith Weiss
FRETS vol. 4 (MRTS vol. 344), 2009 

Verse Saints’ Lives Written in the French of England
Translated by Delbert W. Russell
Includes: “Saint Giles,” Guillaume de Berneville; “Saint George,” Simund de Freine; “Saint Faith of Agen,” Simon de Walsingham; and “Saint Mary Magdalene,” Guillaume Le Clerc de Normandie
FRETS vol. 5 (MRTS vol. 431),  

Piety and Persecution in the French of England
Translated by Maureen B. M. Boulton
Includes Chasteau d’Amour by Robert Grosseteste; The Childhood of Jesus Christ; The Vengeance of Our Lord; Little St. Hugh of Lincoln; Seven-part Meditation on the Passion; Meditation on the Cross; Meditation on the Wounds of Christ; Prayer by the Wounds; Three Prayers by the Crucifixion; and a Contemplation on the Passion.
FRETS vol. 6 (MRTS vol. 420), 2012 

The Anglo-Norman Gospel Harmony (L’Estoire de l’Evangile)
Translated by Brent A. Pitts
FRETS vol. 7 (MRTS vol. 453), 2014 

Henry, Duke of Lancaster:  The Book of Holy Medicines (Le Livre de Seyntz Medicines)
Translated by Catherine Batt
FRETS vol. 8 (MRTS vol. 419) , 2014

The Works of Chardri: Three Poems in the French of England: The Life of the Seven Sleepers, The Life of St. Josaphaz, and The Little Debate
Translated by Neil Cartlidge
FRETS vol. 9 (MRTS vol. 462), 2015

The Life of St. Clement
Translated by Daron L. Burrows
FRETS vol. 10 (MRTS vol. 488), 2016

The Romance of Thebes
Translated by Joan Ferrante and Robert Hanning
FRETS vol. 11 (MRTS vol. 529), 2018

Occasional Publication

“Cher alme”: Texts of Anglo-Norman Piety
Edited by Tobeginningny Hunt and translated by Jane Bliss, with an introduction by Henrietta Leyser
FRETS OPS vol. 1 (MRTS vol. 385), 2010 

FRETS volumes published by the Arc Humanities Press

Beginning with 2020 volumes, FRETS’ new home is Arc Humanities Press

Waldef: A French Romance from Medieval England
Translated by Ivana Djordjević, Nicole Clifton, and Judith Weiss
FRETS vol. 12, FOUNDATIONS, 2020

French Lessons in Late Medieval England: The Liber Donati and Related Manieres Dialogues
Translated by Rory G. Critten
FRETS vol. 13, FOUNDATIONS, forthcoming

Each volume includes:

  • A brief preface by the series editors explaining the role of FRETS and the contribution of the particular volume in hand
  • An introduction that situates the work historically and in the literary culture of its time. Introductions need to be written to scholarly standards but with non-specialists in mind. Translators need to explain and advocate the interest of their texts, which may center on the author’s skill and the work’s aesthetic appeal or, bearing in mind the historical specificity of the category of ‘literature’ as a post-medieval invention, may be based on the work’s broad cultural interest, its medieval importance and wide diffusion, or its illustration of documentary and discursive medieval practices. Translations anticipate both a seasoned readership and a new, wider public of scholars and students. The following items are specifically addressed: sources and influences; provenance of the text and the milieu in which it was produced; information about the author, date, and manuscripts; information about language and versification, where the original is poetry; an account of the ways in which authors treat themes and issues; aesthetic and/or cultural appreciation, cultural situating of the text/s.
  • bibliography of recommended books and articles for further reading, including general works dealing with historical and literary context; studies of the particular author and work; titles of all editions and any other translations, and studies on themes or issues raised in the works.
  • Appropriate historical, literary-historical and philological annotation. Examples include: explanations of historical or other events, personages, or institutions mentioned; information about sources of particular lexical items or language and motifs; explanations of proper names beyond what can be accommodated in the index; disputed readings; the various meanings of important polyvalent terms and the semantic reverberations of terms whose English translation cannot capture them; possible translations for terms other than the one selected; relevant comparisons with other writings by the same author and with the writing of other authors; significant divergences on the part of the text translated from its source materials.
  • An appendix containing extracts from the original Anglo-Norman text/s by way of illustration and for teaching purposes. 
  • An index of proper names.