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Havelok the Dane: Introduction


1 The earliest version is Geoffrei Gaimar's L'Estoire des Engleis written around 1140; the Lai d'Haveloc, written anonymously, follows shortly thereafter. See Alexander Bell, ed., L'Estoire des Engleis by Geoffrei Gaimar (Oxford: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1960); see also, Alexander Bell, ed., Le Lai D'Haveloc and Gaimar's Haveloc Episode (Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 1925). Bell suggests that the writing of Lai d'Haveloc may coincide with the incorporation of Grimsby in 1201.

2 See Donald G. Hoffman, "Malory's Cinderella Knights and the Notion of Adventure," Philological Quarterly 67 (Spring 1988), 145-56. Havelok, as Malory's Gareth, is trained first as a kitchen knave, a lowly position he transcends just as Cinderella does her domestic enslavement. Like many of Malory's knights, Havelok has been recognized as a male Cinderella. See Russell A. Peck, Cinderella Bibliography,, under male Cinderellas.

3 Lee C. Ramsey, Chivalric Romances: Popular Literature in Medieval England (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983), p. 36.

4 See Ernst Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), for a discussion of the separation between the "office" of monarch and the monarch himself.

5 See J. Halverson in "Havelok the Dane and Society," Chaucer Review 6 (1971), 142-51. John C. Hirsch argues against this view in "Havelok 2933: A Problem in Medieval Literary History," Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 78 (1977), 339-49.

6 Susan Crane, Insular Romance: Politics, Faith, and Culture in Anglo-Norman and Middle English Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), p. 47.

7 Robert Levine rejects the view that assumes differing literary tastes between the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. See "Who Composed Havelok for Whom?" Yearbook of English Studies 22 (1992), 95-104. Levine also criticizes David Staines' "attempt to harmonize the implied political agenda of the poem with its popular appeal" and notes that "the lower classes had more to lose at the hands of a tyrant than the barons did. . . . During the Middle Ages, the nobility and the lower classes certainly found themselves from time to time on the same side, sometimes in opposition to the king, sometimes in opposition to ecclesiastical authority, but which group was more strongly committed to its position seems a moot question" (p. 99).

8 It is important to point out that the marriages which occur at the end of the poem are a feature only of the English version.

9 David Staines, in "Havelok the Dane: A Thirteenth-Century Handbook for Princes," Speculum 51 (1976), 602-23, especially p. 623, sees numerous parallels between Havelok and Edward I, as do Sheila Delany and Vahan Ishkanian. See "Theocratic and Contractual Kingship in Havelok the Dane," Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 22 (1974), 290-302.

10 According to W. W. Skeat, ed., The Lay of Havelok the Dane, second ed., revised by Kenneth Sisam (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), this appears in the Anglo-French Chronicle of Peter de Langtoft, "who died early in the reign of Edward II, and whose Chronicle closes with the death of Edward I. Here the only trace of the story is the mention of 'Gountere le pere Havelok, de Danays Ray clamez' - Gunter, father of Havelok, called king of the Danes. He identifies this Gunter with the Danish invader defeated by Alfred the Great, who in the A. S. Chronicle is called Godrum" (p. xliii).

11 See Idelle Sullens' edition of Robert Mannyng of Brunne: The Chronicle (Binghamton: Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996), p. 499. This is known as the Lambeth interpolation.

12 Other evidence includes a reference to a boundary marker appropriately dubbed "Havelock's Stone," located near Grimsby. See W. W. Skeat, p. liii.

13 Nancy Mason Bradbury, "The Traditional Origins of Havelok the Dane," Studies in Philology 90 (1993), pp. 117 ff. Indeed, the legend persisted in oral traditions into the seventeenth century, "when Gervase Holles recorded some variant versions of the tale from the townspeople of Grimsby" (p. 125).

14 Piero Boitani, English Medieval Narrative in the 13th and 14th Centuries, trans. Joan Krakover Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 51. W. R. J. Barron says of the hero, "this male Cinderella accepts the ashes as his element" (p. 69). Donald Sands, in Middle English Verse Romances (New York: Rinehart & Winston, 1966) links the male Cinderella motif to the desires of the poem's humble audience (p. 55). For a comprehensive discussion of male Cinderellas, see Eve Salisbury, "(Re)dressing Cinderella," in Retelling Tales, ed. Alan Lupack and Thomas G. Hahn (Rochester: D. S. Brewer, 1997), pp. 275-92.

15 Edmund Reiss, "Havelok the Dane and Norse Mythology," Modern Language Quarterly 27 (1966), 115-24.

16 For further information on the dialect of Havelok consult G. V. Smithers, ed., "Introduction" to Havelok (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), pp. i-lxxxiii.

17 Rosamund Allen, King Horn: An Edition Based on Cambridge University Library MS Gg. 4.27 (New York: Garland, 1984), p. 12.
Most scholars place Havelok the Dane at the end of the thirteenth century, between 1280 and 1290, and see it as a reworking of Anglo-Norman sources.1 Havelok opens with the unfortunate childhood of the English princess Goldeboru, Havelok's future wife, orphaned when her father, the good King Athelwold dies, leaving her inadvertently in the hands of a wicked foster parent and protector, Godrich. The scene then shifts to Havelok's own similar childhood in Denmark. When Havelok's father King Birkabein dies, he and his two sisters are left in the care of the treacherous usurper, Godard, who cuts the throats of the two young girls and threatens the life of Havelok. The little boy, in a demonstration of courage well beyond his years, negotiates a promise of fealty in exchange for his life. But instead of accepting Havelok's fealty, Godard hands the boy over to a fisherman, Grim, with instructions to kill him. Bound and gagged, the young prince is then transported to his would-be executioner's hut. Before the deed can be done, however, Grim and his wife see a mysterious light coming from the boy's mouth while he sleeps, and a "kynmerk," the cross-shaped birthmark of a king on his shoulder, which convinces them of Havelok's divinely appointed royal status. Then, in a manner reminiscent of fairy tales, Grim fakes the child's death and then takes his whole family along with the boy to England, where Havelok grows into a young man who earns his bread first as a fisherman and then as a porter.

At this point, Godrich forcibly marries Goldeboru to Havelok, thinking he is a commoner, a misidentification with which Goldeboru concurs until, on their wedding night, the "kynmerk" and the strange light reveal Havelok's true identity. Her misgivings about Havelok's nobility thus assuaged, soon thereafter Goldeboru and Havelok make their way to Denmark, where Havelok poses as a merchant while staying at the house of Ubbe, a Danish earl, only to have his identity as true king affirmed once again by the light and the birthmark. Havelok avenges the murder of his sisters and wins back the Danish throne from Godard and his forces. Havelok then returns to England with Goldeboru to regain her kingdom from Godrich (who is flayed and hanged at a slow, merciless rate); he arranges the marriages of Grim's two daughters to English noblemen (one of whom is newly elevated from his position as cook), distributes property to his Danish subalterns, and accepts the crown of England which he rules with Goldeboru. To Ubbe, he bequeaths the rulership of Denmark. Together Havelok and Goldeboru have fifteen children - queens and kings all - and live to a comfortable old age.

The Hero's Body

In Havelok, as in Horn we have another romance hero whose very body is central to the narrative. The most obvious recurring devices - the supernatural light shining from the sleeping hero's mouth, and the cross-shaped birthmark on his shoulder - appear three times at crucial moments in the story: when Grim is about to kill him as a boy; when he has been forcibly married to a very distressed Goldeboru; and when he is staying with Ubbe in Denmark at the commencement of his campaign to win back the land of his birth. Not only is Havelok's body marked by divine authority, but he is noticeably taller than the other men around him. Like the biblical King Saul, he stands out in a crowd: he has a royal bearing that separates him from the ordinary. Havelok also consumes more food than ordinary men, a fact that motivates the hero to seek employment and contribute to the support of his foster family. But in order to avoid calling attention to himself while working among the English locals, he shrouds his body in disguises: at Lincoln he dresses no more remarkably than his foster family in Grimsby does in order to apprentice as a cook. His disguise is akin to that of Sir Gareth, who serves as a "kitchen knave" in Malory's Le Morte Darthur.2 When Havelok arrives in Denmark to visit Ubbe, he presents himself as a merchant; by the end of the poem, he is wearing the crown of England. But whether his body is a tabula rasa for a heaven-sent sign, or a frame for clothing from every social stratum, his bodily strength is remarked on consistently throughout his story. He gains the respect of Lincoln locals by winning popular wrestling and stone-throwing contests. He is formidable in battle even when he wields unconventional weapons - from an ax to a club or door bar - against opponents more conventionally armed. Just as Horn's beauty is constantly remarked upon and celebrated, so too is Havelok's extra-ordinary physique and prowess.3

Havelok and the Body Politic

If attention to Havelok's body literally underscores the hero's physical attributes and royal status then so too does it represent the political virtues of a potential king. Havelok is a walking metaphor for kingship, literally marked with a sign of royalty. Thus it is no coincidence that the poem begins with the death of the English king, Athelwold, with a description of his rule, followed shortly thereafter by the death of the Danish king, Birkabein, and a similar description. Athelwold, we are told, establishes peace and justice in a realm rife with treachery and violence, an accomplishment for which he is recognized by his subjects - young and old, from every estate - as a wise and effective monarch. Both loved and feared, Athelwold demonstrates compassion in his "gode werkes," while, at the same time, he adjudicates criminal acts to the fullest extent of medieval English law. When the scene shifts to Denmark, we discover that King Birkabein embodies similar personal and political virtues. He too renders equitable justice and secures peace and harmony in the kingdom of Denmark. Each king provides a model of rulership that fosters social and political stability in their respective realms and functions to assure the continuance of the "office" of monarch when the king dies. In this sense, the king has not one body but two: he represents both himself as individual, with a natural body subject to disease, decay, and death, while at the same time he represents the body politic.4

Made most famous by John of Salisbury in the Policraticus, a twelfth-century treatise on political philosophy, the body politic is a metaphor for hierarchical corporate entities organized with the "head" (the king or prince in this case) at its apex, governing the lower members, construed either as classes of society or particular groups. Each member of the corporate body in this system is expected to contribute to the welfare of the whole organism in order to enhance the quality of communal life. At the center of the body politic, or at its heart, reside the dual laws - divine and positive - by which the organism operates. Just as the king's subjects are obligated to submit to his authority, so too is he obligated by divine law to govern his subjects ethically. Should he fail to honor the precepts under which he rules, the king ceases to function as the site of reason for the corporate body; he ceases to be a just king and instead becomes a tyrant. Given the paradigms of kingship established early in the poem, Havelok's ultimate destiny is to rule the corporate body so that all its members function in a state of health and well-being. His "kynmerk" represents his divinely ordained right to sovereignty.

Havelok and Social Class

While the expected romance love-interest appears in Havelok's relationship with Goldeboru, their marriage is born as much of necessity as romantic love; it creates a social and political alliance that confers legitimacy upon their dual cause to reclaim the rightful inheritance of each. In his battle against Godard and Godrich, Havelok exhibits courage and a sense of avenging justice. He dispatches Godard without second thoughts; Godrich requires another strategy, however, since he is an English nobleman given stewardship over Athelwold's daughter by the king himself. No doubt this factors into Havelok's offer of mercy. But when the unrepentant Godrich rejects the gift, he must face the legal consequences of his traitorous acts. Havelok's actions in this regard are not motivated by a romantic code of chivalry, but rather by a desire to protect the social order of his adopted land, and to uphold popular values of English society. This is one reason that the poem seems to express the desires of what J. Halverson calls the upward mobility "of the prosperous, hard-working middle class."5 Indeed, the work ethic, demonstrated by Havelok's desire to support not only himself, but also his foster family and, subsequently, the larger community, contributes to what Susan Crane describes as "an ideology of cohesion in which all people share an understanding of good and right, and each class' duties contribute to the common purpose of achieving and maintaining social order."6

Havelok, probably more than any poem of its time, moves easily from one social class to another, mixing themes of social idealism with the realities of everyday life. We should note here that "bourgeois realism" forms part of the mixed character of the romance mode. Like King Horn, Havelok shares with other romances the mixture of weird, supernatural events (the birthmark/light-from-the-mouth scenes) and very realistic, and often lower-class, detail: for instance, the dozen types of fish that Grim catches, or the peasant games at Lincoln. Havelok makes himself even lower than bourgeois, and both Godrich and Goldeboru show their disdain for lowly status by their reactions to the prince whom they think to be a churl.7 These attitudes are not shared by Havelok, however, whose rewards to the loyal and disadvantaged at the end of the poem suggest a movement toward social amelioration. Characters who might otherwise be overlooked - Bertram the cook, the daughters of Grim the fisherman - thus attain noble status by the intervention of a king who has shared their experience.8 As David Staines so aptly puts it, "Havelok is the embodiment of the ideal king from the point of view of the lower classes."9 That this late thirteenth-century romance is socially ameliorative is crucial to its tone and uncommon fusion of class values.

Havelok as History and Myth

Havelok seemed as up-to-date and relevant as history to its early readers. Like many other medieval romances, it was even confused with history: one fourteenth-century Anglo-French chronicler, Peter de Langtoft, identifies Havelok with a Danish king named Gunter who made war on Alfred the Great.10 Another fourteenth-century chronicler, Robert Mannyng of Brunne, corroborates the account in English but stops short when it comes to the question of how Havelok won England for lack of written historical documentation: "Bot I haf grete ferly that I fynd no man that has writen in story how Havelok this lond wan." Nonetheless, there appears what scholars surmise to be a late interpolation of Havelok's story in Mannyng's chronicle.11 Mannyng himself points to other kinds of evidence which suggests the existence of a local legend - a stone in Lincoln castle which is said to be the very stone that Havelok threw farther than the other contestants, and a chapel in which Havelok and Goldeboru were married.12

There is yet another rather amazing piece of historical evidence to consider: the official thirteenth-century seal of the town of Grimsby, founded, the poem says, by Grim (lines 744-47). As if establishing its own claim to Havelok's fame, the seal of Grimsby depicts its founder along with the hero and his betrothed, Goldeboru (see p.72 above). Grim's figure, wielding the accoutrements of battle - shield and sword - looms large at the seal's center, while Havelok is depicted in smaller proportions to the left, carrying a battle ax in one hand and a ring in the other; Goldeboru, also a smaller figure than the gigantic Grim, appears to the right, holding a scepter with one hand while her other is extended toward Havelok's ring. Royal diadems hover over the heads of both Havelok and Goldeboru, while a providential hand at the top of the outer circle gestures toward the figures in the center. The seal's inscription, which forms a circular frame for the three central figures, indicates the official status of the incorporation of Grimsby - Sigillum Comunitatis Grimebye; all three figures are identified by name. That the seal stands as an emblem of corporate identity is clear. What is less clear is what the seal represents as historical evidence for the existence of Havelok. Perhaps what it ultimately suggests is the less-than-precise boundaries between history and myth.

If the question of defining boundaries between history and myth remains unanswered so too does the question of what a Danish prince is doing in a very English romance. Many scholars suggest that the Anglo-Norman Lai d'Haveloc was probably composed in the Northeast Midlands (Lincolnshire/Humberside) where the Danes had once ruled and dominated linguistically. This would explain the persistence of a Danish legend if we assume a direct line of transmission between the Anglo-Norman poem and the English poem, an assumption that has met challenges in recent years. But even if Havelok derives from a local oral tradition, as Nancy Mason Bradbury cogently argues, evidence still points to a locale that would have retained Scandinavian linguistic traditions and folkloric elements well into the late Middle Ages.13

In fact, Piero Boitani calls Havelok "a folk-tale thinly disguised as a romance." Both W. R. J. Barron and Donald Sands describe the hero as a "male Cinderella."14 The themes of exile and return, taking revenge, and taking a bride recall similar folktale motifs. To probe a little deeper, a residue of mythology may lie behind certain other aspects of the poem, such as the identity of Grim. Edmund Reiss points out that the name Grímnir in the Old Norse sagas can mean "disguise," and in several sagas Odin disguises himself as a servant or a ferryman. In one version of Havelok, Grim is a servant, and in another, a sailor. Digging even deeper, Reiss observes that "just as Odin the ferryman takes the dead heroes to Valhalla, so Grim takes Havelok to a new life." Odin also keeps two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who advise the god and bring news from around the world; in Havelok, one of Grim's sons is named Hugh Raven.15

Dating and Provenance

The only complete manuscript of Havelok appears in Bodleian MS Laud Misc. 108, dated c. 1300-25. The dialect of the poem seems to be Northeast Midlands, with both Northern and Southern forms.16 As the introduction to King Horn points out, both Horn and Havelok appear in this manuscript; both poems appear in the same hand. Also appearing are a variety of other writings (seventy all together, by Skeat's count) including hagiography in a fifteenth-century hand, The Vision of St. Paul, a Disputatio inter corpus et animam, and scientific information in a fifteenth-century hand. Rosamund Allen suggests that scribes who bound together the Laud MS may have included saints' lives because the story of Havelok itself is a kind of saint's life, and Horn himself kills Saracen infidels and rebuilds churches; or else, "The empty folios of 228v-237v were filled with saints' legends and moral matter by a fifteenth century compiler who then bound related matter together."17 As modern readers take the opportunity to read both poems in this volume, they may continue to observe and remark on parallels between the two poems that have often moved critics to consider them together.

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Select Bibliography


Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Laud Misc. 108 (c. 1300-25).

Cambridge University Library Add. 4407 (fragments).


French, Walter Hoyt, and Charles Brockway Hale, eds. Middle English Metrical Romances. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1930. [Older edition with textual notes and limited glossary.]

Holthausen, Ferdinand, ed. Havelok. London: Sampson Low Marton & Co., 1901. [Brief notes and glossary.]

Madden, Sir Frederic, ed. Havelok the Dane. Roxburghe Club. London: W. Nicol, Shakespeare Press, 1828.

Sands, Donald B., ed. Middle English Verse Romances. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1966. [An edition with regularized spelling for modern students and scholars; discusses major textual cruces for this audience and updates French and Hale and Skeat.]

Skeat, W. W., ed. The Lay of Havelok the Dane. Second ed. Revised by Kenneth Sisam. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956. [Early scholarly text with more intensive textual/cultural notes than F&H, but much superseded by later editions.]

---. The Lay of Havelok the Dane. EETS e.s. 4. London: N. Trübner & Co., 1868. [Identifies the poem as in no way connected with France, but derived from British or Welsh traditions. Cautions against close association with the lays of Marie de France.]

Smithers, G. V., ed. Havelok. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987. [Updated edition that includes thorough introduction to the poem's sources, date of composition, dialect and provenance, with commentary on the text. The edition also prints lines connected with the poem from Cambridge University Library MS Add. 4407 which do not appear in Laud MS 108.]

Related Studies

Barron, W. R. J. English Medieval Romance. London: Longman, 1987. [Comprehensive general study of generic features, historical contexts, and evolutionary principles.]

Boitani, Piero. English Medieval Narrative in the 13th and 14th Centuries. Trans. Joan Krakover Hall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. [Surveys several medieval English literary genres, including religious writing, comic writing, dream visions, and romances, with separate chapters on Gower and Chaucer; compares English with French culture and romance with epic; discusses how Chaucer uses romance.]

Bradbury, Nancy Mason. "The Traditional Origins of Havelok the Dane." Studies in Philology 90 (1993), 115-42. [Employs folklore methods for tracing oral origins of the Havelok story as presented in the English poem.]

Crane, Susan. Insular Romance: Politics, Faith, and Culture in Anglo-Norman and Middle English Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. [Sees the exile and return pattern of Havelok as a frame for ideological expression of the nobility's interest in land and personal title.]

Delaney, Sheila, and Vahan Ishkanian. "Theocratic and Contractual Kingship in Havelok the Dane." Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 22 (1974), 290-302. [Argues for a date in later decades of the thirteenth century and marks parallels between Havelok and Edward I.]

Halverson, J. "Havelok the Dane and Society." Chaucer Review 6 (1971), 142-51. [Supports the view of a non-noble audience for the poem.]

Hanning, Robert W. "Havelok the Dane: Structure, Symbols, Meaning." Studies in Philology 64 (1967), 586-605. [Argues that despite its lack of aesthetic beauty, the poem is deserving of commendation for its unified structure, for its consistent use of central symbolic acts or devices, and for the way in which structure and symbols cooperate to establish and clarify the work's central meanings (p. 587).]

Haskin, Dayton. "Food, Clothing and Kingship in Havelok the Dane." American Benedictine Review 24 (1973), 204-13. [Furthers the discussion of Havelok's kingship "by attending to the hero's interaction with his subjects and his dependence upon them for his eventual truimph, with a view of amplifying our understanding of the poet's vision of the apt ruler" (p. 205).]

Hirsch, John C. "Havelok 2933: A Problem in Medieval Literary History." Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 78 (1977), 339-49. ["Such romances as Havelok tell us not so much what the lower classes thought of the upper, as what the upper classes liked to think the lower classes thought of them" (p. 343).]

Kretzschmar, William A., Jr. "Three Stories in Search of an Author: The Narrative Versions of Havelok." Allegorica 5 (1980), 21-97. [Compares first 800 lines of Gaimar's Estoire des Angleis (c. 1150) with the Lai d'Haveloc of the latter half of the twelfth century. Presents complete text and translation of the Lai.]

Levine, Robert. "Who Composed Havelok for Whom?" Yearbook of English Studies 22 (1992), 95-104. [Rejects the characterization of the poem's audience as lower class.]

Liuzza, Roy Michael. "Representation and Readership in the ME Havelok." Journal of English and Germanic Philology 93 (1994), 504-19. [Sees the catalogue of fish as part of a larger system of economic exchange.]

McIntosh, Angus. "The Language of the Extant Versions of Havelok the Dane." Medium Aevum 45 (1976), 36-49. [Disputes, by linguistic analysis, the scholarly presumption of Lincolnshire origin; instead, argues Norfolk influence.]

Mills, Maldwyn. "Havelok's Return." Medium Aevum 45 (1976), 20-35. [Explores the return scene to shed light on the genesis and unity of the poem.]

---. "Havelok and the Brutal Fisherman." Medium Aevum 36 (1967), 219-30. [Argues that Grim is not as good as he seems.]

Pearsall, Derek. "John Capgrave's Life of St. Katharine and Popular Romance Style." Medievalia et Humanistica 6 (1975), 121-37. [John Capgrave, a fifteenth-century Augustinian friar, knew and mimicked romance formulae found in Havelok in his Life of St. Katharine. The close thematic associations of hagiography and romance are textually manifest as well.]

Purdon, Liam O. "The Rite of Vassalage in Havelok the Dane." Medievalia et Humanistica 20 (1993), 25-39. [The rites solidifying the connection between a vassal and his feudal lord combine homage, fealty, and investiture with a fief. These rites, incomplete or bypassed, help to explain the motives and actions of characters in the romance.]

---. "'Na Yaf He Nouth a Stra' in Havelok." Philological Quarterly 69 (1990), 377-83. [Argues that the feudal act of renunciation is suggested by the placement, repetition, and language of this particular expression.]

Ramsey, Lee C. Chivalric Romances: Popular Literature in Medieval England. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983. [A study of the Middle English romance with a chapter on the child exile story, comparing the characters of the king and traitors and the relation of heroes to heroines in Havelok and King Horn. Sees royalist sympathies and a concern for the rule of law in thirteenth-century England.]

Reiss, Edmund. "Havelok the Dane and Norse Mythology." Modern Language Quarterly 27 (1966), 115-24. [Reveals Scandinavian mythological traces in several characters of the poem.]

Scott, Anne. "Language as Convention, Language as Sociolect in Havelok the Dane." Studies in Philology 89 (1992), 137-60. [Views formulaic style of Havelok as an expression of Havelok's acquisition of "language" or "sociolect" appropriate for a king.]

Smithers, G. V. "The Style of Havelok." Medium Aevum 57 (1988), 190-218. [Meticulously detailed study of repetition, periphrasis, apostrophe, simile, hyperbole, and other devices, with comparisons to Anglo-Norman rhetorical practice on which these devices may have depended.]

---. "The Scansion of Havelok and the Use of ME -en and -e in Havelok and by Chaucer." In Middle English Studies Presented to Norman Davis in Honour of His Seventieth Birthday. Ed. Douglas Gray and E. G. Stanley. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983.
Pp. 195-234. [Preliminary study of versification for his 1987 edition.]

---. "Four Notes on Havelok." In So Meny People, Longages and Tonges: Philological Essays in Scots and Mediaeval English Presented to Angus McIntosh. Ed. Michael Benskin and M. L. Samuels. Edinburgh: Middle English Dialect Project, 1981. Pp. 191-209. [Precedes his 1987 edition with a fuller discussion of certain textual cruces.]

Staines, David. "Havelok the Dane: A Thirteenth-Century Handbook for Princes." Speculum 51 (1976), 602-23. [Argues that Havelok is a mirror for princes with implicit admonitions to treat the lower classes well and observe the rule of law. Sees a number of interesting parallels between Havelok and Edward I.]