The Romance of the Stanleys: regional and national imaginings in the Percy Folio

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This article investigates a body of early Tudor poetry associated with the Stanley Earls of Derby, preserved in the Percy Folio (British Library, Additional MS 27879). It argues that the Lancashire and Cheshire authors of these poems modified strategies of national address, rooted in a historical and prophetic tradition we can trace back to Geoffrey of Monmouth, to construct a clear regional identity centred on the dynastic mythology of the Stanley family. The Galfridian Stanley-ite mythology of this period presents a significant counterpart to contemporary political historical and prophetic treatments of the Tudor accession. This provides an important new literary-historical context for our understanding of the Percy Folio romance The Turke and Sir Gawain.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327–351
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Stanley earls of Derby, Percy Folio, Bosworth, Flodden, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry VII, Henry VIII