The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature

Medieval French literature encompasses 450 years of literary output in Old and Middle French, mostly produced in Northern France and England. These texts, including courtly lyrics, prose and verse romances, dits amoureux and plays, proved hugely influential for other European literary traditions in the medieval period and beyond. This Companion offers a wide-ranging and stimulating guide to literature composed in medieval French from its beginnings in the ninth century until the Renaissance. The essays are grounded in detailed analysis of canonical texts and authors such as the Chanson de Roland, the Roman de la Rose, Villon’s Testament, Chrétien de Troyes, Machaut, Christine de Pisan and the Tristan romances. Featuring a chronology and suggestions for further reading, this is the ideal companion for students and scholars in other fields wishing to discover the riches of the French medieval tradition.

• Covers all the canonical texts taught on medieval French courses • Explores different approaches, readings or theoretical perspectives on the texts • Provides historical and literary context and much information about genre, authorship and language

Contents

Chronology; Introduction Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay; Part I. What is a Medieval French Text?: 1. The Chanson de Roland Jane Gilbert; 2. The Old French Vulgate Cycle Peggy McCracken; 3. Le Roman de la rose Noah D. Guynn; 4. The Testament of François Villon Adrian Armstrong; Part II. What is a Medieval French Author?: 5. Chrétien de Troyes Matilda Bruckner; 6. The Châtelain de Couci Simon Gaunt; 7. Guillaume de Machaut Deborah McGrady; 8. Christine de Pizan Marilynn Desmond; Part III. What is the Value of Genre for Medieval French Literature?: 9. Narrative genres Keith Busby; 10. Lyric poetry of the later Middle Ages Jane H. M. Taylor; 11. Genre, parody and spectacle Sarah Kay; 12. Theatre and theatricality Helen Solterer; Part IV. How Can We Read Medieval French Literature Historically?: 13. Feudalism and kingship James R. Simpson; 14. Clerks and laity Emma Campbell; 15. The marital and the sexual William Burgwinkle; 16. Others and alterity Sylvia Huot; Appendix: Reference works for Old and Middle French; Bibliography of medieval French texts; Suggested further reading; Index.