Medieval Romance

Sir Eglamour of Artois

14th century, Middle English: 15th and 16th century manuscripts at Cambridge University Library, Lincoln Cathedral Library, British Library, Bodleian Library.

'Thief!' cried the giant, and he strode towards Sir Eglamour with an iron club in his hand.

Sir Eglamour rode resolutely until he came to a forest far to the west. The wode was walled all abowte – the woodland was surrounded by a stone wall. Sir Eglamour found an entrance and went in. Blowing his hunting horn, immediately deer leapt away on every side. Sir Eglamour unleashed his greyhounds after one of them. Almost at once, the dogs became distracted and started to howl and bark, for the giant had woken up. 'I can hear hounds,' the giant murmured to himself. 'Some thief is trying to steal my deer!'

The gyaunt to the knyght ys gon with a clubbe of yren [iron] in his honde tan – 'Thief!' cried the giant, and he strode towards Sir Eglamour with an iron club in his hand, and taking a swing at him, buried the thing two feet into the earth. 'What are you doing stealing my deer? You have killed the chief stag of my herd!'

Sir Eglamour drew his sword and wounded the giant in the face.

Although blinded, the giant fought with Sir Eglamour all day, and all through the night, and it was only at dawn the next morning that Sir Eglamour managed to topple him to the ground. The knight thanked Christ for his victory, then measured the giant and found him to be over fifty feet in length! – on the grownde as he lay fyfty fote and mare!

Story fragment recounted from: Hudson, Harriet, 1996, second edition 2006. Four Middle English Romances, Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS. Medieval Institute Publications. The Middle English text of SIR EGLAMOUR OF ARTOIS from British Library MS Cotton Caligula A.ii.

See for yourself

Sir Eglamour of Artois – TEAMS Middle English texts

Sir Eglamour of Artois – Wikipedia

Chivalric Romance – Wikipedia

Medieval Institute Publications – Harriet Hudson (Ed), Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour, Second Edition. TEAMS Middle English texts


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