Arms of FitzWarin
British Library, Royal 12.C.XII, ff. 33-60v
Editions and Translations
Brandin, Louis. Fouke Fitz Warin; Roman Du XIVe Siècle, Édité. Les Classimques Français Du Moyen Âge: . Paris, H. Champion, 1930
Burgess, Glyn S. trans. Two Medieval Outlaws: Eustace the Monk and Fouke Fitz Waryn. Woodbridge, Suffolk ; Rochester, NY : D.S. Brewer, 2009.
Hathaway, E. J., P. T. Ricketts, C. A. Robson, and A. D. Wilshere, eds. Fouke Le Fitz Waryn. Anglo-Norman Text Society. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1975.
Stevenson, Joseph, ed. and trans. The Legend of Fulk Fitz-Warin. In Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores, or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages. Rolls Series. Vol. 66. London: Longman and Co., 1857, 1875; rpt. Kraus Reprint, 1965. Pp. 275-415.
Wright, Thomas, ed. and trans. The History of Fulk Fitz Warine, An Outlawed Baron in the Reign of King John. London: The Warton Club, 1855.
Fouke le Fitz Waryn is an Anglo-Norman romance centering on the life and deeds, as well as family history, of Fulk III. The historic Fulk was a Marcher baron and lord of Whittington, in Shropshire, who in 1200 A.D. rebelled against King John over the succession to the castle thereof. After years of living as an outlaw and bandit, Fulk and his followers were reconciled to the king and he was restored to his rightful inheritance in 1204 A.D. The prose romance, adapted from a lost late-thirteenth century verse source by an unknown author, is a loose and fanciful adaptation of the baron's exploits, detailing his adventures throughout England and the mythic roots of his lineage in the style and genre of what has been termed a "dynastic romance."
Importance for the study of Angevin History
Given the figure of King John himself as the villain of the story and personal enemy of the tale's eponymous hero, the romance of Fouke le Fitz Waryn deals intimately with how the legacy of the Angevins was passed down and interpreted in English cultural memory. Moreover, as is true of dynastic romances in general, it shows a curious mix detailed factual knowledge, embellishment, and outright fantasy in the events and places it describes. The author is keenly interested in and demonstrates an awareness of local geography and topography, as well as history dating back to the time of the Conquest. In seeking for its central character and his family an origin justifying their claims to nobility, the tale reaches back not only to the time of William, but entrenches itself in a framework of native English and Welsh history drawn from authorities such as Geoffrey of Monmouth.
This interest in intensely local settings and concerns for its subjects sets the dynastic romance apart from its more Continental, standard progenitor. Oftentimes the stories claim for their respective heroic lineages descent from Anglo-Saxon, rather than Norman, roots entirely. As such, Fouke le Fitz Waryn can be seen as a product of and for an aristocracy that was increasingly moving away from its "French" heritage in pursuit of a more insular identity.
Crofts, Thomas H. and Rouse, Robert. “Middle English popular romance and national identity.” In A Companion to Medieval Popular Romance, Edited by Radulescu, Raluca and Rushton, Cory James. Studies in Medieval Romance, 79-95. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2009.
Francis, E. A. "The Background to Fulk Fitzwarin." In Studies in Medieval French Presented to Alfred Ewert in Honour of his Seventieth Birthday. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961. Pp. 322-27.
Hanna, Ralph. "The Matter of Fulk: Romance and History in the Marches." The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, no. 3: 337.
Weiss, Judith. ““History” in Anglo-Norman romance: the presentation of the pre-Conquest past.” In The Long Twelfth-Century View of the Anglo-Saxon Past, Edited by Brett, Martin and Woodman, David A.. Studies in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland, 275-287. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015.