What is Athelston?
"Athelston" is an anonymous Middle English verse romance in 812 lines, dating from the mid or late 14th century. Modern scholars often classify it as a "Matter of England" romance, because it deals entirely with English settings and characters.
It is mainly written in twelve-line stanzas rhyming AABCCBDDBEEB, though the poet occasionally varies his meter with stanzas of eight, six, or four lines. The poem survives in only one manuscript, the early 15th century "Gonville and Caius MS 175", which also includes the romances "Richard Coer de Lyon", "Sir Isumbras" and "Beves of Hamtoun". It has no title there. "Athelston" was first printed in 1829, when C. H. Hartshorne included it in his "Ancient Metrical Tales".