"The Old French Crusade Cycle", published in the original old French text, is generally understood to be the result of a relatively rapid process of literary accretion that extended the narrative of the First Crusade as it had been originally recounted in the 12th-century, quasi-historical "Chanson d'Antioche" and "Chanson de Jerusalem" in such a way as to produce a more or less coherent story beginning with Godfrey of Bouillon's mythical grandfather, the Swan Knight, and ending with the appearance of Salah ed-Din. The events following the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders are told in four branches of the cycle known collectively as "The Jerusalem Continuations", the text of which has survived in two redactions. The four branches of the first redaction appeared as "The Old French Crusade Cycle", Volume VII, Parts I and II. The second redaction, consisting of some 27,000 lines of Alexandrine verse, is here offered as Volume VIII.
In this second redaction we learn of the campaign to capture Acre, but the expected epic narrative of cavalry warfare and seige is relieved by an extended account of the romance and marriage of Godfrey and Florie, the recently converted sister of Corbaran of Oliferne (the historical Muslim leader Kerbogha). The Crusaders' joy is short-lived, however, when Godfrey is treacherously poisoned by his newly appointed patriarch of Jerusalem, Eracle, and the troubling apparent complicity of Tancred who has fallen passionately in love with Florie. When Godfrey's brother Baldwin is crowned, Tancred proves his innocence in trial by combat against Eracle. Baldwin's rule, however, ends with his premature death and power passes to Aumary d'Aucoire. But his hold on power is tenuous as the Muslim counter-offensives become even more threatening, including the unlikely successes of a false Salehadin, the apostate son of a shoemaker from Metz, and compromised by the necessity of a Christian alliance with the Muslim ruler of Egypt against the invading forces of the real Salah ed-Din.