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:
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:
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