Anonymous, Brut

Jason O'Rourke (Queen's University Belfast)
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The Middle English Prose


is a chronicle telling the history of Britain from its mythical foundation by Brut (Brutus in Latin) to the fifteenth century. There are varying end-points for the text, the earliest being 1333, and the latest 1479 or 1482. Translated from Anglo-Norman at the very beginning of the fifteenth century, it exists in an enormous number of different versions in at least 183 manuscripts, not including the Anglo-Norman and Latin versions, which bring the number of manuscripts to over 240. The


therefore accounts for the largest manuscript corpus of secular Middle English texts to have survived to the present day, although whether this can be assumed to be an indication of the text's popularity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is more difficult to judge.…

1952 words

Citation: O'Rourke, Jason. "Brut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2004 [, accessed 25 May 2024.]

6174 Brut 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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