The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 1: The Medieval Period – Third Edition
  • Publication Date: December 4, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554812028 / 155481202X
  • 960 pages; 7½" x 9¼"

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The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 1: The Medieval Period – Third Edition

  • Publication Date: December 4, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781554812028 / 155481202X
  • 960 pages; 7½" x 9¼"

In all six of its volumes The Broadview Anthology of British Literature presents British literature in a truly distinctive light. Fully grounded in sound literary and historical scholarship, the anthology takes a fresh approach to many canonical authors, and includes a wide selection of work by lesser-known writers. The anthology also provides wide-ranging coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature, and it pays attention throughout to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. It includes comprehensive introductions to each period, providing in each case an overview of the historical and cultural as well as the literary background. It features accessible and engaging headnotes for all authors, extensive explanatory annotations, and an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials. Innovative, authoritative and comprehensive, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature has established itself as a leader in the field.

The full anthology comprises six bound volumes, together with an extensive website component; the latter has been edited, annotated, and designed according to the same high standards as the bound book component of the anthology, and is accessible by using the passcode obtained with the purchase of one or more of the bound volumes.

For the third edition of this volume a number of changes have been made. The Old English material has been substantially revised and expanded, including new translations by Roy Liuzza of “Deor,” “Wulf and Eadwacer,” and “The Battle of Brunanburh.” A selection from Adrienne Williams Boyarin’s new translation of “The Miracles of the Virgin” will be included, along with Sian Echard’s translation of selections from Y Gododdin. Matthieu Boyd’s translation of the first two branches of the Mabinogi is also new to this edition, together with several Early Irish lyrics.

The “Love and Marriage” Contexts section has been expanded to include additional material by Christine de Pizan and excerpts from Holy Maidenhood, and the “Religious and Spiritual Life” Contexts section now includes excerpts from Wycliffite writings. The selection of material by Sir Thomas Malory has also been substantially revised and expanded. In addition, the online component of the anthology includes several new selections, including “The Gifts of Men,” “The Fortunes of Men,” “The Feast of Bricriu,” material by Robert Henryson, and a broader selection of medieval drama.


Comments on The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Medieval Period:

“Broadview offers the best selection of Old English texts I’ve ever seen in an anthology of this nature … Well done!” — Robert W. Barrett, Jr., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“With the publication of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, teachers and students in survey and upper-level undergraduate courses have a compelling alternative to the established anthologies from Norton and Longman. Having adopted the first two volumes for an early period survey course last year, I had no hesitation in repeating the experience this year. The medieval volume, in particular, is superb, with its generous representation of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman literary culture, as well as its growing collection of texts from the too little-known fifteenth century. This is a very real intellectual, as well as pedagogical, achievement.” — Nicholas Watson, Harvard University

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Medieval Period offers remarkable features that make it an excellent choice for instructors. The anthology includes eight Canterbury Tales, compared to Longman’s six and Norton’s seven, enabling students to experience Chaucer’s generic and linguistic range much more fully. The footnotes to The Canterbury Tales are more comprehensive than those in either Longman or Norton, explaining clearly each pilgrim’s profession (not always included in other anthologies); pointing out ambiguous syntax and offering alternative readings. In addition, I was impressed that the editors indicate in the footnotes passages that are not included in Ellesmere, but are considered by some critics as late additions. This attention to scholarly detail models just the kind of accuracy we demand from ourselves and students while researching. The full manuscript page reproductions further enhance the students’ experience with medieval manuscript culture, opening the door to further discussion of this aspect of the written tradition. I especially appreciate the extensive and inclusive “Contexts” sections … [Overall,] The Broadview Anthology certainly contains the most up-to-date and comprehensive selections of medieval texts, with excellent introductory notes and reader-friendly organization.” — Eileen S. Jankowski, Chapman University

Comments on The Broadview Anthology of British Literature:

“ … sets a new standard by which all other anthologies of British Literature will now have to be measured.” — Graham Hammill, SUNY Buffalo

“With the publication of the Broadview Anthology of British Literature, teachers and students in survey and upper-level undergraduate courses have a compelling alternative to the established anthologies by Norton and Longman. … This is a very real intellectual, as well as pedagogical, achievement.” — Nicholas Watson, Harvard University

“ … an excellent anthology. Good selections for my purposes (including some nice surprises), just the right level of annotation, affordable—and a hit with my students. I will definitely use it again.” — Ira Nadel, University of British Columbia

“After twenty years of teaching British literature from the Norton anthologies, I’m ready to switch to the Broadview. The introductions to each period are key to teaching a survey course, and those in the Broadview seem to me to be both more accessible to students and more detailed in their portraits of each era than are those of the Norton. And Broadview’s selection of authors and texts includes everything I like to teach from the Norton, plus a good deal else that’s of real interest.” — Neil R. Davison, Oregon State University

“Norton’s intros are good; Broadview’s are better, with greater clarity and comprehension, as well as emphasis upon how the language and literature develop, both reacting or responding to and influencing or modifying the cultural, religious/philosophical, political, and socio-economic developments of Britain. The historian and the linguist in me thoroughly enjoyed the flow and word-craftsmanship. If you have not considered the anthology for your courses, I recommend that you do so.” — Robert J. Schmidt, Tarrant County College

For a PDF of the table of contents, click here.

NOTE: The online component of the anthology offers a substantial number of additional readings, edited to the same standards as the bound book. Online readings appear in the hyperlinked sections below; to download these readings, please follow the hyperlinks to the BABL online resources site and log in using your passcode.




  • Errata Slip – on the use of “Anglo-Saxon” (
  • Introduction to the Medieval Period
    • History, Narrative, Culture
    • Before the Norman Conquest
      • Celts in Medieval Britain and Ireland
      • Roman Britain
      • Early Anglo-Saxon Britain
      • Celtic Culture
      • Celtic Christianity
      • Later Anglo-Saxon Britain
      • Invasion and Unification
    • After the Norman Conquest
      • The Normans and Feudalism
        Henry II and an International Culture
        Wales, Scotland, Ireland: Norman Invasions and Their Aftermath
        The Thirteenth Century
        The English Monarchy
        Cultural Expression in the Fourteenth Century
        Fifteenth-Century Transitions
        Language and Prosody
    • from The Ruin of Britain
  • BEDE
    • from Ecclesiastical History of the English People
      • A Description of the Island of Britain and Its Inhabitants
        The Coming of the English to Britain
        The Life and Conversion of Edwin, King of Northumbria; the Faith of
        the East Angles
        Abbess Hild of Whitby; the Miraculous Poet Cædmon
        Cædmon’s Hymn in Old and Modern English
    • The First Satire
      [A Bé Find, in rega lim] Fair lady, will you go with me
      [Messe ocus Pangur Bán] Me and white Pangur
      [Is acher in gáith innocht] The wind is wild tonight
      [Techt do Róim] Going to Rome?
      The Lament of the Old Woman of Beare
    • The Wanderer
      The Seafarer
      Wulf and Eadwacer
      The Wife’s Lament
      The Ruin
    • Riddle 1
      Riddle 2
      Riddle 3
      Riddle 7
      Riddle 14
      Riddle 26
      Riddle 43
      Riddle 44
      Riddle 45
      Riddle 47
      Riddle 85
      Riddle 86
      Riddle 95
    • For a Swarm of Bees
      Against a Dwarf
      For a Sudden Stitch
      The Nine Herbs Charm
    • IN CONTEXT: Background Material
      • Glossary of Proper Names
        The Geatish-Swedish Wars
    • from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
      • The Coming of the Angles and Saxons to Britain (449–95)
        The Story of Cynewulf and Cyneheard (755)
        King Alfred’s Early Years (871–78)
        King Æthelred’s Troubles (980–93)
        The Life and Death of William the Conqueror (1086)
    • Alfred’s “Preface” to the Old English Version of Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care
    • Sermo Lupi ad Anglos
    • from A History of the Kings of Britain
    • Sumer is icumen in
      Now goth sonne under wod
      Foweles in the frith
      Betwene Mersh and Averil
      Now skrinketh rose and lily-flour
      Lenten is come with love to toune
      Stond well, moder, under Rode
      Maiden in the mor lay
      I lovede a child of this cuntree
      Erthe tok of erthe erthe with woh
      When Adam delf
      The Lady Dame Fortune is both frende and foe
      I have a gentil cock
      I sing of a maiden
      Adam lay ibounden
      Farewell this world, I take my leve forever
      To dy, to dy. What haue I
      Bring us in good ale
      Of all creatures women be best
      My lefe is faren in a lond
      A god and yet a man
    • The Great Famine
      • from Anonymous (the “Monk of Malmesbury”), Life of Edward the Second
    • The Hundred Years’ War
      • from Jean Froissart, Chronicle
        from Prince Edward, Letter to the People of London
    • The Black Death
      • from Ralph of Shrewsbury, Letter (17 August 1348)
        from Henry Knighton, Chronicle
    • The Uprising of 1381
      • from Regulations, London (1350)
        from Statute of Laborers (1351)
        from Statute (1363)
        from Jean Froissart, Chronicle, Account of a Sermon by John Ball
        John Ball, Letter to the Common People of Essex (1381)
        from Henry Knighton, Chronicle
    • IN CONTEXT: Illustrations from the Original Manuscript
      IN CONTEXT: The Thorn and the Yogh
    • Anglo-Saxon Laws
      • from The Laws of Æthelberht
        from The Laws of Cnut
    • from The Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
      from Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love
      from The Owl and the Nightingale (
      Royal Couples
      Christine de Pizan, “Seulete sui” (Alone I am)
      from Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies
      from Holy Maidenhood
      from The Paston Letters

      • from Letter from Agnes Paston to her son John Paston I (c. 1449)
      • from Letter from Richard Calle to Margery Paston (1469)
    • from William Langland, The Vision of Piers the Plowman
      from Robert Grosseteste (attr.), Speculum Confessionis
      from Eadmer, The Life of Saint Anselm
      from Letters of Anselm to fellow monks (late eleventh century)
      from The Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 22: How the Brothers [or Sisters] Are to Sleep
      from Anonymous, A Relation, or Rather a True Account, of the Island of England, with Sundry Particulars of the Customs of these People, and of the Royal Revenues under King Henry the Seventh
    • To Rosemounde
      Parliament of Fowles
      from The Canterbury Tales

      • The General Prologue
        The Knight’s Tale
      • The Miller’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Clerk’s Prologue and Tale (
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Franklin’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Introduction
          The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Prioress’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue and Tale
        • The Prologue
          The Tale
      • Chaucer’s Retraction
        IN CONTEXT: Backgrounds to The Canterbury Tales (

        • Pilgrimage
          • from The Testimony of William Thorpe
        • The World of Chivalry
          • from Ramon Lull, The Book of the Order of Chivalry
            • from Chapter 2 [On Chivalry]
            • from Chapter 3 [Knighthood]
        • Orders of Society
          • from John Gower, Vox Clamantis
        • Pardoners and Indulgences
          • A Model Indulgence
        • An Exemplum
          • from The Remedy Against the Troubles of Temptation
        • from Giovanni Boccaccio, Teseida
          • from Book 3 [Emilia Appears to Palaemon and Arcite]
      • “As Fressh as is the Monthe of May”: Illustrations from Illuminated Manuscripts
      • To His Scribe Adam
      • Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse
      • Lenvoy de Chaucer
      • from Troilus and Criseyde
        • Troilus’s Song
    • from The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
      • Prologue
        Chapter 7
        Chapter 15
        Chapter 20
        Chapter 29
    • from A Revelation of Love
      • Chapter 1
        Chapter 2
        Chapter 3
        Chapter 5
        Chapter 7
        Chapter 11
        Chapter 27
        Chapter 28
        Chapter 50
        Chapter 51
        Chapter 58
        Chapter 60
        Chapter 86
    • from The Book of Margery Kempe
      • The Proem
      • The Preface
      • from Book 1
        • Chapter 1
        • Chapter 2
        • Chapter 3
        • from Chapter 4
        • from Chapter 11
        • Chapter 50
        • Chapter 51
        • Chapter 52
        • Chapter 53
        • Chapter 54
        • Chapter 55
        • Chapter 86
      • from Book 2
        • Chapter 10
    • Celtic Christianity
    • Church and Cathedral
    • Religion for All: The Apostles’ Creed, the Pater Noster, and the Hail Mary
      • from Robert Manning of Brunne, Handlyng Synne
        from William of Pagula, Priest’s Eye
        from The Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
    • Monks, Anchoresses, and Friars
      • from The Rule of St. Columba
        from The Rule of St. Benedict
        from The Ancrene Wisse
    • Franciscan Friars

      • from St. Anselm, Proslogion
    • The Miraculous and the Strange
      • from The Miracles of Thomas of Becket
    • Sin, Corruption, and Indulgence
      • from William Langland, The Vision of Piers Plowman (B-text)
        • from Passus 1
          from Passus 5
          from Passus 7
      • from Thomas Wimbleton, Sermon
    • Lollardy
      • from John Wycliffe, “Of Good-Preaching Priests”
        from John Wycliffe’s Confessions on the Eucharist
        from Sixteen Points on which the Bishops accuse Lollards
        from Account of the Heresy Trial of Margery Baxter
    • The Persecution of the Jews
      • from Thomas of Monmouth, The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich
        from Roger Howden, Chronicle
        from The Ordinances of the Jews
        from The Charter of King John to the Jews
        from The Ordinances of Henry III
        Edward I’s Order
    • The Chester Play of Noah’s Flood
      • IN CONTEXT: Biblical Source Material
        • from the Douay-Rheims Bible, Genesis 6–9


Reading Poetry


Monarchs and Prime Ministers

Glossary of Terms

Texts and Contexts: Chronological Chart of the Medieval Period (

Bibliography (

Permissions Acknowledgments

Index of First Lines

Index of Authors and Titles

Two of the general editors have volume 1 as their particular focus. Roy Liuzza is Cameron Professor of Old English at the University of Toronto; Claire Waters is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of California, Davis.

Our Editorial Team:

Joseph Black, University of Massachusetts
Leonard Conolly, Trent University
Kate Flint, University of Southern California
Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta
Roy Liuzza, University of Tennessee
Jerome McGann, University of Virginia
Anne Prescott, Barnard College
Barry Qualls, Rutgers University
Claire Waters, University of California, Davis

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature companion sites include content for both instructors and students.

The Online Resources Site for both students and instructors features close to 200 interactive review questions; over 500 online readings across all volumes of the anthology, with 56 additional readings specific to this volume; details on British currency; chronological charts; bibliographies; an audio library with 37 samples ranging from Old English to the early 20th Century; and more. An access code to the website is included with all new copies. If you purchased a used copy or are missing your passcode for this site, please click here to purchase a code online.

A separate instructor site features background material, over 200 discussion questions, and “Approaches to Teaching” for key works and authors in the anthology; it also offers a list of anthology contents by theme and region. An access code to the website is included with all examination copies.

For a sample introduction and reading from The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 1 3e, click here. (Opens as a PDF.)


Add any standalone edition to a package containing one or more of our anthology volumes for free! A second edition may be added for only $10. To view a complete list of available editions, take a look through our full editions chronology.

Multiple volumes of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature can also be packaged together:

  • Package of any TWO of Volumes 1-6: $90.95
  • Package of any THREE of Volumes 1-6: $101.95
  • Package of Concise Volumes A and B: $110.95

To obtain a package ISBN, or to inquire about other discounted package options, please contact your Broadview representative or Further discounts may be available for large courses.


Broadview is happy to create a custom text including only your selected readings, from this and/or any of our other anthologies and editions (with the exception of copyright-protected readings that are controlled by rights holders other than Broadview Press). We offer an easy and intuitive Custom Text Builder, and you can also contact our Custom Text Administrator.

Features of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature

  • • Unrivalled flexibility
  • • Superb, comprehensive introductions
  • • Extraordinarily wide range of authors included
  • • Close attention paid to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation
  • • Substantial coverage of the worldwide connections of British literature
  • • More extensive—and more helpful—annotations than in competing anthologies
  • • Extensively illustrated throughout
  • • Fuller range of contextual materials than any competing anthology
  • • Substantial online resources
    • • An instructor’s guide that features background material, discussion questions, and “Approaches to Teaching” for key works and authors in the anthology
    • • A companion website for students that includes a wide range of additional selections (as well as an audio library, review questions, chronological charts, and more)
  • • Can be packaged with any of Broadview’s standalone editions; one edition can be included for free with the anthology, a second can be added for $10
  • • Can be customized for courses requiring fewer or differently-arranged readings

Features of The Medieval Period

  • • Roy Liuzza’s translations of Old English works, including Beowulf
  • • Facing-column translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • • Extensive contextual materials for key individual works and authors
  • • “Contexts” sections on “Crises of the Fourteenth Century,” “Love and Marriage in Medieval Britain,” and “Religious and Spiritual Life”
  • • Superior coverage of Medieval Drama

Features New to the Third Edition

  • • Old English material has been substantially revised and expanded
  • • Newly translated material includes selections from Y Gododdin and the first two branches of the Mabinogi
  • • New section on Early Irish lyrics
  • • Expanded “Love and Marriage” Contexts section with additional material by Christine de Pizan and excerpts from Holy Maidenhood
  • • Expanded and revised selection of material from Malory’s Le Morte Darthur
  • • Several new selections added to the online component

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