Perhaps one of the most interesting of these Metrical Romances is that of Havelok the Dane.
For Havelok the Dane was written for the people and not for the great folk, who still spoke only French.
For Havelok was written perhaps a hundred years after Layamon's Brut.
Brian Wildsmith illustrated my first book for children, Havelok
the Dane (1964).
the Dane scholarship has recently benefited from a growth of critical interest in the poem, though less attention has been paid to its narrative mechanics and to resolving its supposed narrative inconsistencies.
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Others cite Middle English narratives like Havelok
the Dane and Sir Orfeo for oral performance and variety of audience.
Bell and Julie Nelson Couch, the collection comprises thirteen chapters and an Epilogue that derive from the shared interest of the editors and contributors in reading Havelok
the Dane in its original manuscript context.
These early dates are important because a fourteenth-century setting for the ballads and ballad-epics like the Gest would correspond with a growing sense of English national identity, evident in thirteenth-century works like the Middle English Havelok
the Dane, that continued in subsequent centuries as England grappled with its old enemy, France, and as English authors (like Chaucer and the Gawain-poet) chose English as their literary language, rejecting the lingua Franca still spoken by most members of the aristocracy.
The couplet readily met the needs of romance narratives, as shown for the first time by the poet of Havelok
, one of the earliest romances, although with a certain degree of Anglicization.
The title character in the thirteenth century Havelok
the Dane, for instance, sets out to regain his birthright on his wife's counsel, which is inspired by an angel's prediction of his future glory.
Furrow offers nuanced readings of the Anglo-Norman romances Estoire des Engleis, Le Lai d'Havelok
, Horn, and Boeve de Haumtone contrasted with the Middle English Havelok
the Dane, King Horn, and the Auchinleck Bevis of Hampton.