Medieval Romance

The Romance of Eustache the Monk

13th century, Old French, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

The collier sends the count back after the man who has stolen his clothes, but by this time Eustache has exchanged his clothes again, with a potter.

Eustache the monk has left his monastery and lives as an outlaw, making life as difficult as he can for his arch enemy, the Count of Bourlogne. On one occasion, disguised as a leper, he steals a fine horse from the count’s entourage.

On another occasion, disguised as a collier, he directs the count into the forest where he and his men find the true collier dressed in Eustache's clothes. The poor man, after a beating, directs them back towards the collier-in-disguise, but by this time Eustache has exchanged his clothes again, with a potter.

On another occasion, Eustache disguises himself as a woman.

Story fragments recounted from: Eustache the Monk, translated by Thomas E. Kelly. Originally Published in Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales, edited by Stephen Knight and Thomas H. Ohlgren. 1997. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications. The Old French text of EUSTACHE THE MONK from Bibliothèque Nationale fonds française 1553 (fols. 325v-338v), dated 1284.


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Eustache the Monk – translated by Thomas E Kelly for TEAMS

Medieval Institute Publications – Edited by Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren with contributions by Thomas E Kelly, Russell A Peck, Michael Swanton, and Paul Whitfield White. 2000. Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales, Second Edition. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS. Medieval Institute Publications. TEAMS Middle English text series