Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Havelok the Dane

Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


Havelok the Dane (c. 1285) appears in a manuscript dated c.1300-1325. The story appears first in an Anglo-Norman chronicle in 1150, then a 12th-century Old English Lai d’Havelok. The folk story functions as a male-Cinderella tale with the exile-and-return pattern, but the piece is considered much superior to King Horn all around. The setting is a more realistic England and Denmark, the characters more human, and the iambic tetrameter is smoother.


Havelok the Dane. Medieval English Literature. Ed. Thomas J. Garbáty. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Co., 1984. 181-253.

Havelok the Dane. Middle English Verse Romances. Ed. Donald B. Sands. NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966. 55-129.