Middle English Literary Resources

The resources on this and the linked pages are primarily aids for studying non-Chaucerian Middle English, but there will inevitably be some overlap with the Chaucerian resources in content and utility. For resources organized by author, please see the Major Authors page; there are also pages dedicated to Romance and Arthurian Literature, Women's Literature and Culture, and more general History and Culture.

General Middle English Literature Resources

Luminarium

  • This website is one of the most reputable sites for non-Chaucerian literature, is continuously updated, and should be your first stop for a basic introduction to any major medieval author (including Chaucer, Lydgate, Gower, the Gawain-poet, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and many others). Note that it has areas for post-medieval literature as well.
  • The Luminarium Encyclopedia is a reliable starting point for information on historical figures and events.
     

A Companion to Middle English Literature

  • Developed as a teaching tool by a German university, this site makes a nice companion to Luminarium, as it fills some gaps in their offerings
  • Under "Navigation"  on the blue nav bar, I recommend "Anonymous" for brief overviews of anonymous Middle English poetry (which is most of it); "Text Groups" for brief introductions to different genres and textual forms; and "History" for timelines and quick information on historical figures and major political events.
  • Information on major authors is more comprehensive at Luminarium, and their "Encyclopedia" area offers more extensive historical information. The "Topics" area on this Companion website is useful for romances and the literature of love.

Digital Index of Middle English Verse (DIMEV)

  • This resources is the digital version of the print IMEV: an index, by first line (not title) of ALL the poetry written in Middle English. It is most useful for tracking down and differentiating among shorter, anonymous verses.
  • Each DIMEV entry will provide the text's first lines and last lines, its common title (and author, if known), its IMEV index number, the manuscripts its appears in, variant versions, and any earlier and/or contemporary editions.

Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts (CELM), 1450-1700

  • This high-powered database catalogues all the manuscripts and miscellaneous documents produced by English writers during the period 1450-1700.

Verse Miscellanies Online

  • The material on this website (sponsored by the Bodleian Library) is a little later than the usual reach of my courses. It offers critical, searchable editions of several 16th and 17th c. printed miscellanies, starting with Tottel's Songes and Sonettes.

Wessex Parallel WebTexts

  • This site offers editions and translations of a variety of early Middle English lyrics and debate poems
  • It also includes a very helpful essay on mouvance

 

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