King Horn

Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion

Middle English chivalric romance dating back to the middle of the thirteenth century.

- King Horn

22 related topics


Chivalric romance

Type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the noble courts of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe.

Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion
Holger Danske, or Ogier the Dane, from the Matter of France
A knight rescues a lady from a dragon.

In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.

Havelok the Dane

Thirteenth-century Middle English romance considered to be part of the Matter of England.

"Havelok presents Goldborough to the English people", a 1905 illustration by Henry Justice Ford
Havelok's name as it appears in an early fourteenth-century manuscript.
1905 illustration showing the fisherman Grim and his wife, noticing Havelok glowing while he sleeps

Havelok is the second oldest surviving romance written in English, after King Horn; it is believed to have been composed somewhere between 1285–1310.

Romance of Horn

Anglo-Norman literature romans d'aventure tale written around 1170 by an author apparently named "Thomas".

Menhir at Drizzlecombe

The story became the base for one of the earliest Middle English romances, King Horn, written around 1225.

Hind Horn

Traditional English and Scottish folk ballad.

Illustration of a scene from "Hind Horn" by Arthur Rackham

The popular ballad contains little more than the climax of a tale that is told at much great length in several manuscripts: the English "King Horn", the latest parts of which are thirteenth century; the French romance, Horn et Rymenhild; and the fourteenth-century "Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild", also English, but closer to the French version.


Westernesse is a fictional kingdom in the Middle English romance of King Horn.

13th century in poetry

The Sicilian School, Dolce Stil Novo, and later the Tuscan School mark the emergence of literary Italian

The birth of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily

King Horn, the oldest known English verse romance, is written around 1225

1225 in poetry

Approximate date

A portrait of Saint Francis by Philip Fruytiers

King Horn, the oldest known English verse romance

1220s in England

Events from the 1220s in England.

King Horn, the oldest known English verse romance, written.

English literature

Literature written in the English language includes many countries such as the United Kingdom and its crown dependencies, Republic of Ireland, the United States, and the countries of the former British Empire.

The first page of Beowulf
Piers Ploughman from a 14th-century manuscript
Geoffrey Chaucer
19th century engraving of a performance from the Chester mystery play cycle.
William Shakespeare
John Milton, religious epic poem Paradise Lost published in 1667.
John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)
Jonathan Swift
Samuel Johnson
William Blake
Lord Byron
Thomas Carlyle by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1867
Charles Dickens
Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels featuring Sherlock Holmes
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ca 1863
Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore
Rudyard Kipling
James Joyce, 1918
Virginia Woolf, 1927
Doris Lessing, Cologne, 2006.
Sir Salman Rushdie at the 2016 Hay Festival, the UK's largest annual literary festival
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1940s
J.K. Rowling, 2006

Another literary genre, that of Romances, appears in English from the 13th century, with King Horn and Havelock the Dane, based on Anglo-Norman originals such as the Romance of Horn (c.


Fictional place in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings.

Map of Númenor, with its principal cities
The Downfall of Númenor and the Changing of the World. The outlines of the continents are purely schematic.
Tolkien wrote of Númenor as Atlantis in several of his letters. Athanasius Kircher's map (inverted to show North at top) of Atlantis between America and Europe ("Hispania", Spain), 1669
The downfall of Númenor has been compared to the Biblical fall of man. The serpent tempts Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, Notre Dame de Paris

Tolkien chose the name for its resonance with "Lyonesse", a faraway land that sank into the sea in the Middle English romance King Horn.