French and Francophone Studies

British Branch

The British Branch is one of the founder branches of the Society.

It holds its own regular colloquia 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.

British Rencesvals Publications

The British Branch publishes a series of books entitled British Rencesvals Publications. These are editions and translations of texts and critical work related to Romance epic, designed for use by students and researchers. Editions of texts include a translation into English.

To date eight volumes have been published:










Further proposals for the publications series are welcomed.

All enquiries about British Rencesvals Publications and orders for volumes should be addressed to:

Dr Anne Cobby

Contact details



17 George Street

Post Code


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.

British Branch Meeting

The British Branch holds regular colloquia to which members of the Branch, and occasionally members of other branches of the Society, are invited to contribute.

Officers and Committee Members

President Dr Marianne Ailes (University of Bristol)
Secretary-Treasurer Dr Simon Parsons (King’s College London)
Ex Officio, Past President Professor Françoise Le Saux (University of Reading)
Bibliographer Dr Margaret Jubb (University of Aberdeen)
PG Representative Ms Hailey Ogle (University of St Andrews)
Committee Member without Portfolio  Dr Victoria Turner (University of St Andrews)

The Société Internationale Rencesvals and the University of Edinburgh

The British Branch of the Société Internationale Rencesvals pour l’étude de l’épopée romane was one of the original branches of the Society when it was founded in 1955. Among the founder members, who constituted the original management committee, was Professor Duncan McMillan, who held the Chair of French Language and Romance Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh from 1955 to1980. He was also the first Chairman of the British Branch.

Dr Marianne Ailes, a graduate of Edinburgh University, and Professor emeritus Philip Bennett, who held the Chair of Medieval French Literature and Culture from 2008 to 2011, have both held the Presidency of the British Branch on two occasions. Dr Ailes has also served twice as Vice-President of the International Society and Professor Bennett was President of the Society from 2003 to 2006.

The twelfth international congress of the Society was held at the University of Edinburgh in August 1991, its proceedings published in Edinburgh under the title Charlemagne in the North in 1993. The collection British Rencesvals Publications, publishing editions and studies of material related to epic poetry, has likewise been published in Edinburgh and printed by the University of Edinburgh’s Printing Services since its inception in 1995.

The University’s Faculty Group of Arts and Social Sciences (now CAHSS) and School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures have in turn generously hosted the British Branch Website over the last twenty years. 


For further information about the Branch, the Society, Branch membership, and student subsidies please contact the Branch Secretary:

Dr Simon Parsons

Department of History

King’s College London

Strand, London


Send Simon an email