Welcome to the RCLM*

This born-digital project offers scholars, students, and interested publics the ability to examine all extant manuscript and early print versions of the late Middle English romance, Richard Coer de Lyon. Likely one of the most popular romances to circulate in the 14th and 15th centuries, this romance has much to teach us about the cultural climate of late medieval England, and about the ways in which the writers, redactors, and audiences of RCL reshaped the past to attend to their own contemporary cultural desires and anxieties.

Given that this romance focuses squarely on Richard I of England, given the virulent forms of Islamophobia and racism in which it trafficks, and given the frequency with which crusading history, historical crusaders, and crusading iconography are used by white supremacists and Nazis in our present moment, we—the RCLM team—invite you to pause before entering this website in order to agree to abide by the ethical guidelines and standards of this project:

The RCLM project and team emphatically reject and condemn all forms of Nazism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny, and white-supremacy. We reject the weaponizing of the medieval past in our present. And in response to this weaponization, The RCLM digital project is deliberately and carefully designed at every level (from the TEI markup, to its numerous textual and explanatory notes, to its robust Resources section) to assist scholars, students, and interested publics in ethically confronting and reckoning with this difficult but critically important cultural artifact.

By entering this site, you agree to abide by these ethical standards, and to use this project and its materials in ways that do no harm.  

*The text in this section will, in the final version of the site, appear as a pop-up inviting the reader to accept or reject the ethical standards (and either gain access or be jumped back to their previous page) by clicking a button at the end of the pop-up text.

Mission Statement

Founded in 2019 at The University of Washington, and co-directed by Leila K. Norako (UW) and Bridget Whearty (SUNY Binghamton), The Richard Coer de Lyon Multitext (RCLM) provides a dynamic multitextual edition of all extant manuscript witnesses of the late Middle English romance, Richard Coer de Lyon. There are eight manuscript witnesses (none of which are the source of any of the others), and two early prints (which are based off of the Gonville and Caius college witness). Added to which, this romance differs dramatically across witnesses, which are difficult to study in single print-bound editions. This project offers a solution to this problem by providing both individual editions and transcriptions of each witness and a comparative apparatus that allows interested readers to examine as many of these witnesses as they wish simultaneously. 

Target audience: This project is geared not only for scholars of late medieval literature and culture, but also students (both graduate and advanced undergraduate) and interested lay audiences. To that end, we have developed a variety of modules and interpretive materials that speak to each of these audiences. This project recognizes the weighted cultural histories and appropriations connected to crusades literature and iconography.  We emphatically reject the white supremacist usage of this history and its artifacts.

Funded with the Generous support of: