Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: F250001-001

Song of Dermot and the Earl

Author: [unknown]

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Goddard Henry Orpen

Electronic edition compiled by Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Tiarnán Ó Corráin

Funded by University College Cork

2. Second draft, with editorial preface, introduction and updated bibliography.

Proof corrections by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Extent of text: 38125 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork.
College Road, Cork, Ireland—


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: F250001-001

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


    Manuscript sources
  1. London, Lambeth Palace, MS Carew 596. (This is the only MS copy of the poem. It is acephalous, has some lacunae, and ends imperfect; for a description of the MS see Orpen, 1892 (cited below) xi–xii and Conlon, 1992 (cited below) vii–xi).
  1. Denis J. Conlon, The song of Dermot and Earl Richard Fitzgilbert: Le chansun de Dermot e li quens Ricard fiz Gilbert, Studien und Dokumente zur Geschichte der romanischen Literaturen, herausgegeben von Hans-Joachim Lope, volume 24 (Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang 1992). Edition with an introduction, bibliography, chronological table, literal translation, brief notes (223–31), index locorum, index nominum, and glossary (243–54).
  2. Francisque Michel, The conquest of Ireland (London: Pickering 1837). Text without translation but with some glossatorial notes and an introduction by Thomas Wright that is of little value.
  3. Goddard Henry Orpen, The song of Dermot and the Earl: an Old French poem from the Carew manuscript no. 596 in the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth Palace (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1892). Diplomatic edition with a preface, introduction, chronological table, two genealogical tables (of Mac Murchada and the descendants of Nesta), a facsimile of folio 7ra (i.e. page 13) of the manuscript, a literal translation, an apparatus, copious historical notes (254–321), a heavily annotated coloured map of Meath and Leinster, and index locorum, an index nominum, and a glossary (339–355). Two extracts from Orpen's edition (lines 266–95, 346–69) are reprinted with Orpen's translation in Seamus Deane (ed), The Field Day anthology of Irish writing i (Derry 1991) 149–50.
  4. Evelyn Mullally, The deeds of the Normans in Ireland: La geste des Engleis en yrlande: a new edition of the chronicle formerly known as The Song of Dermot and the Earl. (Dublin: Four Courts, 2002).
  1. Denis J. Conlon (cited above).
  2. Goddard Henry Orpen (cited above).
  3. Evelyn Mullally (cited above).
    Sources, comment on the text, and secondary literature
  1. Alexander Bell, 'Notes on "The Song of Dermot" ' The Modern Language Review 68.2 (Apr. 1973) 283–291.
  2. Alan Bliss and Joseph Long, Literature in Norman French and English to 1534, in Art Cosgrove (ed), A New History of Ireland ii (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1987) 708–36.
  3. Eric St John Brooks, Machtalewi, a Leinster chieftain, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 7 (1941) 53–55.
  4. Michael J. de Courcy Dodd, Correspondence on the historical criticism of the Song of Dermot and the Earl, Ir Hist Stud 1 (1938) 294–96.
  5. Marie-Therese Flanagan, Mac Dalbaig, a Leinster chieftain, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 111 (1981) 5–13.
  6. Marie-Therese Flanagan, Irish Society, Anglo-Norman Settlers, Angevin kingship (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1989).
  7. Felix Liebermann, 'Song of Dermot and the Earl', English Historical Review 8 (1893) 129–33.
  8. Joseph Long, Dermot and the Earl: who wrote The Song?, Proc Roy Ir Acad (C) 75 (1975) 263–72.
  9. Evelyn Mullally, 'Hiberno-Norman literature and its public'. In Bradley, John (ed.), Settlement and society in medieval Ireland: studies presented to F.X. Martin, OSA (Kilkenny: Boethius Press, 1988) 327–43.
  10. Evelyn Mullally, 'Mélanges. La colonisation de l'Irlande au xiie s. d'apres une chronique Anglo-Normande', Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 37 (1994) 365–370.
  11. Evelyn Mullally, 'The phantom army of 1169: an Anglo-Norman view', Éigse 31 (1998) 89–101.
  12. John Francis O'Doherty, Laurentius von Dublin und das irische Normannentum (Munich 1933).
  13. John Francis O'Doherty, Rome and the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, Ir Ecclesiast Rec 42 (1933) 131–45.
  14. John Francis O'Doherty, St Laurence O'Toole and the Anglo-Norman invasion, Ir Ecclesiast Rec 50 (1937) 449–77, 600–25, 51 (1938) 131–46.
  15. John Francis O'Doherty, A historical criticism of the Song of Dermot and the Earl, Ir Hist Stud 1 (1938) 4–20.
  16. Goddard Henry Orpen, Ireland under the Normans, 1169–1333 (4 vols, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1911–20, repr. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1968).
  17. Emer Purcell, 'The expulsion of the Ostmen, 1169–71: the documentary evidence', Peritia 17–18 (2003/2004) 276–294.
  18. W. Ann, Trindade, 'Fiction and history in the song of Dermot and the Earl' Parergon: Bulletin of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 8:1 (1990) 123–130.
  19. George T. Stokes, Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church. A History of Ireland and Irish Christianity from the Anglo-Norman Conquest to the Dawn of the Reformation (London 1889).
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. The song of Dermot and the Earl. Goddard Henry Orpen (ed), First edition [frontispiece (facsimile of folio 7ra) + xliii + 355pp] Clarendon PressOxford (1892)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The editorial preface and introduction are retained. Notes to the text, indexes and glossary have been omitted. All editorial corrections and emendations (whether by Orpen or others) have been retained and fully tagged.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked, proof-read three times, and parsed using NSGMLS. This text is complex, textually and historically, and there are many unresolved problems. Codicological, textual and bibliographical corrections and suggestions are welcome and will be credited to the scholars who make them.


The text has been prepared as medieval French is now presented to readers: modern punctuation has been added, words have been divided in accordance with current editorial principles. The cedilla and e-acute have been marked where appropriate; consonantal i and u (the use of u and v in the MS is somewhat arbitrary) have been rendered j and v, and diaeresis has been marked. Orpen prints manuscript expansions in italics and reproduces the manuscript's y with an overdot: these features have not been retained. The text is based on that of Orpen and compared with that of Denis J. Conlon (which edition has been of great value to us). All editorial corrections and emendations have been tagged.


There are no quotations marks in the manuscript. Quotation marks in the edition have not been retained. Quoted speech in the text is contextually self-evident.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break or line-break, the page-break and line-break are marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the whole text; div1=the poem. Metrical lines are numbered. Verse paragraphs (unnumbered in Orpen's edition, numbered in Conlon's) are numbered and tagged in this edition. The manuscript folio and pages have been tagged in two separate series; the pages of Orpen's and Conlon's editions have been tagged in two separate series: pb n="" marks Orpen's pagination; mls unit="DJCpage" n="" marks Conlon's pagination. The lineation of the poem, identical in both editions, has been tagged.


All personal, place and group names (i. e. dynasties, peoples etc.) have been tagged. A regularised Irish form (and for some major sites, an English form) has been supplied in the tags, except in a few cases where the identity of persons or places is very uncertain. Occupations and social roles (abbot, archbishop, archer, baron, bishop, canon, duke, earl, empress, hostage, king, knight, lord, marcher lord, monk, prior, queen, saint) and some other terms (abbey, castle, archbishopric) have been tagged. Dates and numbers are tagged.

Canonical References

The n attribute of each text in this corpus carries a unique identifying number for the whole text.

The title of the text is held as the first head element within each text.

div0 is reserved for the whole text (whether in one volume or many).

The numbered lines provide a canonical reference.

Profile Description

Created: By an unknown Irish Norman-French poet, drawing on materials that go back to Maurice Regan, the latimer (Latin secretary) of Diarmait Mac Murchada (ob. 1171), king of Leinster. Date range: 1200-1225.

Use of language

Language: [FR] Whole text is in Anglo-Norman French.
Language: [LA] Some words are in Latin.
Language: [GA] Some words are in Middle Irish.
Language: [EN] Editor's preface and introduction are in English.

Revision History