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About the British Branch

of the Société Rencesvals

The British Branch is one of the founder branches of the Société Internationale Rencesvals, founded in 1955.

The Society’s interests centre on epics written in the Romance languages, but with increasing attention being paid to adaptations and reflections, particularly of originally French material, in Middle English and Anglo-Norman, Franco-Italian, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages, and to later elaborations in Italy, Spain and the New World. While traditional philological approaches have not been abandoned, there is a growing tendency to apply contemporary techniques of analysis to the epic, and to expand into comparative and interdisciplinary studies. The Society is thus the focus of a very wide range of scholarly activity.


The International Society publishes annually the Bulletin Bibliographique de la Société Rencesvals (BBSR) containing a critical bibliography of pertinent scholarship, a list of members and other items of interest to scholars working on the epic. BBSR also publishes a limited number of research articles. BBSR is available only through the Society, subscriptions being payable to national branches.

International congresses

The Société Internationale Rencesvals holds a major congress every three years, the most recent being the 22nd International Congress in Lille in July 2022.

The British Branch

It holds its own annual branch meetings in years where there is not an international congress, and has previously hosted three international congresses: the fifth (1970, Oxford), the twelfth (1991, Edinburgh) and the nineteenth (2012, Oxford). 

The British Branch publishes its own annual newsletter and has its own publications series, British Rencesvals Publications. It has also published, not in that series, the proceedings of the 1991 international congress and the collaborative volume Guillaume d’Orange and the Chanson de geste. Further proposals for the publications series are welcomed.

Membership of the Branch is currently £20 per year. This gives full rights in the International Society: attendance at conferences and colloquia, attendance at all business meetings, full voting rights on all matters raised at such meetings.

Members in good standing also receive a personal copy of the Bulletin Bibliographique de la Société Rencesvals.

The Branch supports postgraduate students and others not yet in post by offering them financial assistance with the cost of attending British Branch conferences and/or international congresses.

Residents of the Republic of Ireland and of Commonwealth countries which do not have their own branch of the Société Internationale Rencesvals are invited to apply for membership through the British Branch.

Officers and Committee Members

President: Dr Victoria Turner (University of St Andrews)

Secretary-Treasurer: Dr Simon Parsons (University of Bristol)

Ex Officio, Past President: Professor Marianne Ailes (University of Bristol)

Bibliographer: Dr Margaret Jubb (University of Aberdeen)

Postgraduate Representative: Holly Dempster-Edwards (University of Liverpool)

For the Société Internationale Rencesvals, please visit

Previous Branch Meeting Venues

British Branch                                                                  

Beverley (2013)                                                                     

Cambridge (1988, 1995, 2004, 2016)                                  

Canterbury (2011)                                                                


Chester (x 2) (1982; 2023)                                                     

Colchester (2014)                                                                  

Durham (1984)

Egham (2005)                                                                       


Glasgow (2010)

Hereford (1978)

Lichfield (2017)

Lincoln (x 2) (1980, 2021)


Oxford - Wadham (2002)

Perth (2016)

Reading (1996)

Shrewsbury (2008)

Stamford (1998)

Worcester (2019)

York (1992)


Edinburgh (1991)

Oxford (x 2) (197; 2012)

Toronto (2018)

Lille (2022)

Rome (2015)

Geneva (2009)

Storrs (2006)

Poitiers (2000)

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