Online Froissart

Quick Start

To read Froissart’s Chronicles in modern English, follow the links in the table of contents to Keira Borrill’s translation of selected chapters.

The English translation is based on the two volumes of the Besançon manuscript, which contains a fairly complete version of Books I–III and which has been fully transcribed for the Online Froissart. It is therefore a suitable place to start if you want to read the Chronicles either in English or indeed in the original Middle French language. You can access the Middle French transcriptions of the different books by following these links: Book I, Book II, which continues in the second volume, and Book III.

The Besançon manuscript does not contain Book IV, for which you should preferably look at the Harley manuscript, currently in the process of being fully transcribed for the Online Froissart.

To track down and read a particular passage from the Chronicles, use the summaries of the four Books to locate the chapter or episode you are interested in (following the links to the Besançon and Harley manuscripts). Alternatively, you can use the name index, to locate passages where particular persons or places are mentioned, or do a full text search on the whole Online Froissart, or one limited to a particular section.

If you are interested in studying the manuscripts which contain the Chronicles, then you can consult the digital reproductions of 14 manuscripts currently included in the Online Froissart. All of these manuscripts contain miniature paintings, listed separately. Commentaries on the miniatures are provided for a number of the manuscripts.

If you want to find out about Jean Froissart and his Chronicles, you might start with Peter Ainsworth’s introductory essay. Some of the problems surrounding the manuscript versions of the Chronicles — in relation to their chronology and their precise status, as well as to how the different versions relate to each other — are discussed in that essay. A more detailed discussion, focused exclusively on some manuscript versions of Book I, can be found in Godfried Croenen’s essay on some manuscripts of the ‘A’ redaction of Book I.

If you are interested in the historical period in which Froissart lived and worked, or in the Hundred Years’ War (the principal focus of his historical writing), you should start with the essays by Christopher Allmand and Anne Curry, which deal respectively with the period of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. For further historical research you can explore the name index, which contains a large number of short biographies of historical persons mentioned in Froissart’s Chronicles as well as in the supplementary materials that are part of the Online Froissart.

Should you wish to use the Online Froissart more intensively, we would suggest you explore and familiarise yourself with the primary source materials on which it is based and with how they have been selected. Detailed explanations of how to use the different tools that are part of the online resource are found on the Help page. This page explains, amongst other things, the different ways of navigating the resource, how to view manuscript images alongside transcriptions and how to compare different manuscript versions of the same passage.