The Story of England by Robert Manning of Brunne, AD 1338
Robert Manning (died c.1338) was a Gilbertine monk from Lincolnshire whose early English verse writings make him a notable forerunner of Chaucer. The first part of his Chronicle or Story of England translates into Middle English rhymed couplets Geoffrey of Monmouth's fabulous Latin history, as retold in the Roman de Brut of Wace, with some additions from Bede. Manning's express purpose is to let the people know which of their kings 'were fools and which were wise'. Beginning with the genealogy of the earliest British kings, he traces the arrival of the Trojan Brutus on British soil, tells of the battles of Arthur and concludes with the death of Cadwaladr in 682. Published as part of a two-volume set in 1887, Volume 1 takes the narrative up to Arthur's time and includes an introduction and modern English side-notes by the scholar Frederick James Furnivall (1825–1910).