Several of the works included in this anthology were translations from French; these include the Ayenbite of Inwit (c. 1340) which was a translation of a late thirteenth century French guide known as the Somme le roi. Sir Orfeo, one of the best-known of the Middle English Breton lays, may have also originated as a French work. And several of the texts in this anthology circulated in a variety of other languages; this includes Ancrene Wisse and Mandeville’s Travels, both of which circulated in Latin and French versions. Works such as these offer a glimpse into the wide range of voices, dialects and languages that made up the cultural fabric of medieval England.
Krista A. Murchison, General Editor