William Morris Archive


Faulkner, Peter. "Morris and Old French." JWMS 15.1 (Winter 2002): 43-50.This article provides a clear introduction to the Romances.

Jacobs, Joseph. Introduction to Old French Romances. Done into English by William Morris. London: George Allen & Co., 1896; 1914, pp. v-xi.

Morris, May. Introduction to Vol. XVII of The Collected Works of William Morris, edited by May Morris, Longmans, Green and Co., 1910-15, Vol. XVII, xli-ii.

Peterson, William S. A Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984; 1985, pp. 56-8.

Unsigned review, Nation, June 1896, 62, 88-89.This is a review of Old French Romances. Done into English by William Morris. With an Introduction by Joseph Jacobs, London: George Allen & Co., 1896, which contains all four Romances published in the three Kelmscott Press books.


accord: agree

admonished: informed, advised

affiance: betroth

afore: before

aloft: up

appeal: accuse

apparel: prepare

array: arrangement, show

astonied: astonished

a-twain: in two

billet (of wood): thick piece

but of: unless

carle: man

carline: woman servant

carolling: singing

chattels: possessions

clipped: embraced

coif: cap

cousin germane: first cousin

covenant: agreement, bet

craven: coward, cowardly

dole: complaint, trouble

dight: dressed, prepared

doubt: anxiety

doubted: expected

double banneret: high rank of knighthood

drave: drove

dudgeon: annoyance

enjoin: impose on

enow: enough

esquire: squire

fain: glad

forsooth: truly

garnishment: adornment, decoration

gat: got

gentle: well-born

glaive: lance, spear

guerdon: success, reward

haunted: attended

hanap: cup, basket, container

hang shield on neck: take part in fight

hawberk: plate-armour

heavy: demanding

hight: was named

hostel: dwelling-place

hot on : keen on

in dudgeon: with hostility

jewel: (metaphor) sexual organ

joyance: rejoicing

mail-coif: armour cap

mails: pieces of armour

mardoing: wrongdoing

maugre: despite

meseemeth: it seems to me

mesel: sick

mesney: household staff

misdo, misdoing: misbehave, misbehaviour

misease: unease, distress

much: very

natural part: sexual organ

naysay: deny, denial

needle of nature: natural feeling

nighness: closeness

nought toward: nothing going on

nowise: in no way, not at all

of a surety: definitely

or ever: before

out-taken: excluding

pained him: concerned himself

palfrey: light saddle-horse

par amours: (of love) physically

passage: journey

Paske: Easter

pearlet: small pearl

pennies: coins

Perse: Persian embroidery

pledge: promise, agreement

plenishing: filling up, furnishing

privy: private, confidential

plenishing: filling, stocking

privity: close relationship

privy, privily: private, in confidence

privy council: advisors

quean: woman

quit: acquit, discharge, pardon

recreant: evil-doer

rede: advice

right short: quickly

Saracens: Muslims

scathe: harm

semblance: appearance

sheared: cut though

sojourned: stayed

sols: coins, money

soothfast: genuine

stour: fight

stove: provided for

subtilly: skilfully

sumpter horse: packhorse

surcoat: coat over armour

swain: young man

take the cross: vow to go on crusade

to boot: also

tournay: tournament

Tournais: Tours

trenchant: sharp

trow: believe

Vair: fur of the squirrel

wageling: a dependent, employee

warrant: guarantee

was fainer: would prefer

wearing: possessing

whenas: when

wheras: because

White Nuns: novices

whole: in good health

widowhood: condition of a widower

willshe nil she: whether she will or not

wise: way

wot, wotted: know, knew

wrack: wreckage, suffering

wroth: angry