The Middle Dutch Brut

BookThe Middle Dutch Brut

The Middle Dutch Brut

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The earliest chronicle of England in Dutch is found in a series of chronicles published in 1480 by Jan Veldener, who had been William Caxton’s business partner in the Low Countries. The chronicle was written independently and made to fit in with the larger series. While being the first known standalone chronicle of England in Dutch, it shows a remarkable sophistication and adeptness in negotiating English and Dutch sources, as well as Dutch and English interests, and presents a determinedly Lancastrian view of English history to its Dutch audience. As such, the Middle Dutch Brut is a fifteenth-century product of what for the middle of the seventeenth-century has been identified as ‘the Anglo-Dutch public sphere’, and an indication that the reciprocal channels of discourse between Dutch and English speakers of the early modern period found their origins in the Middle Ages.

This book provides an edition, together with a facing-page modern English translation, accompanied by a contextualizing introduction and explanatory notes. It is the first study, the first modern edition, and the first English translation of the Middle Dutch Brut. The chronicle has received very little scholarly attention, and has never been subject of study in the context of the Brut tradition. This edition will therefore provide a very significant further international dimension to the study of medieval English literature.

Author Information

Sjoerd Levelt is Senior Research Associate of the Leverhulme Trust project The Literary Heritage of Anglo-Dutch Relations, c.1150–c.1600, University of Bristol. He studied Dutch and English Medieval Studies in Amsterdam, Berkeley and Oxford, received his PhD in Combined Historical Studies at the Warburg Institute, and previously taught at the Universities of Exeter and Sussex, and Bilkent University (Ankara). He is author of Jan van Naaldwijk’s Chronicles of Holland: Continuity and Transformation in the Historical Tradition of Holland during the Early Sixteenth Century (Verloren, 2011), which was Winner of the Society for Renaissance Studies Book Prize 2012.