Using the Database

All of the surviving Middle English verse romances are listed alphabetically by modern editorial title and each romance is provided with a detailed, full-page entry that includes, where available, the following information:

  • (N)IMEV (Index of Middle English Verse) number;
  • form;
  • date of composition;
  • place of composition;
  • author(s);
  • source(s);
  • a list of surviving manuscripts and early prints.

Each entry is also provided with a full plot summary and a list of modern editions, with links to editions that are available online.

A note about the plot summaries:
The content of individual romances can vary significantly from one manuscript version to another; both the modern edition and manuscript (where known) from which the summary is drawn is, therefore, indicated. Where the extant manuscripts are incomplete, key plot details have occasionally been added, in square brackets, from source texts.

Search the Database

The database is designed to facilitate easy access to the range and diversity of the Middle English verse romances, as well as to encourage users to explore the often surprising connections between texts across the full corpus.

Search: enter a term, of your choice, in the free search box in order to search all of the plot summaries for particular geographical locations (for instance, Armenia), material objects (for instance, bed), historical personages (for instance, Charlemagne) or a particular animal (for instance, dog).

Key Words: choose one or more of the fifty 'key words', chosen by the compilers of the database, to find romances which share common motifs or themes.

Manuscripts: choose a manuscript from the drop down list to discover all of the romances contained in that single manuscript.

Form: you can also search the database for romances that share a verse form; enter, for instance, alliterative, couplet or tail-rhyme in the 'Form' search box.