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Charles d'Orléans in England, 1415-1440

Charles d'Orléans in England, 1415-1440

Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 250
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  • Book Info
    Charles d'Orléans in England, 1415-1440
    Book Description:

    Charles, duc d'Orléans, prince and poet, was a captive in England for twenty-five years following the battle of Agincourt. The studies in this volume, by European and American scholars, focus on his life and actions during that time, and show him as a serious and learned reader, a cunning political figure (accomplished in the skills that would impress the English nobility around him), and a masterful poet, innovative, witty, and intensely self-aware. Discussion of his manuscripts, his social and political relationships, his extensive library, and his poetry in two languages reveal him as a shrewd observer of life, which in his poetry he describes in ways not seen again until the Renaissance. Contributors: MICHAEL K. JONES, WILLIAM ASKINS, GILBERT OUY, M. ARN, CLAUDIO GALDERISI, JOHN FOX, R.C. CHOLAKIAN, A.C. SPEARING, DEREK PEARSALL, JANET BACKHOUSE, JEAN-CLAUDE MUHLETHALER, A.E.B. COLDIRON.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-003-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Plates
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    M. Arn

    When I began studying the life and work of Charles d’Orléans some twenty years ago, many of the major sources were old. Pierre Champion’s biography of the duke and edition of his French poems dated from the early part of the century; Steele and Day’s edition of the English work, from the 1940s. Only the work of Daniel Poirion, especially his book Le Poète et le prince: L’Évolution du lyrisme courtois de Guillaume de Machaut à Charles d’Orléans (1965), was relatively recent – but all that has since changed.

    On assiste depuis plusieurs années à un renouveau des études auréliennes...

  7. ‘Gardez mon corps, sauvez ma terre’ – Immunity from War and the Lands of a Captive Knight: The Siege of Orléans (1428–29) Revisited
    (pp. 9-26)

    AT the end of August 1428 Charles, duke of Orléans, was faced with perhaps tthe most traumatic event of his twenty-five-year captivity, the invasion of his estates by a large English army. Lands that he relied upon to raise his ransom were systematically ransacked. At his town of Janville receivers’ accounts were burnt and estate officials led into captivity. By 12 October the charismatic and skilled English commander Thomas Montagu, earl of Salisbury, had invested the duke’s principal city of Orléans; the surrounding territories, bludgeoned into submission, were paying forced tribute.¹ Orléans itself endured a desperate seven-month siege that only...

  8. The Brothers Orléans and their Keepers
    (pp. 27-46)

    THERE have been several detailed accounts of the many years Charles of Orléans spent in England, but a full exploration of the cultural environment in which he found himself has been circumscribed, if not stifled, by several of the commonplaces which have emerged from these studies. The first of these is that both Charles and his brother, Jean of Angoulême, found their English years troublesome, worrisome, perhaps even inhospitable.¹ Unless one subscribes to the view that adversity and misery foster creativity or, in Jean of Angoulême’s case, scholarship, it is difficult to imagine how under such circumstances Charles, for his...

  9. Charles d’Orléans and his Brother Jean d’Angoulême in England: What their Manuscripts Have to Tell
    (pp. 47-60)

    EVEN after being in daily contact with medieval manuscripts for more than half a century, one will never get tired of them. Actually, the more one studies them, the more exciting the study becomes. People who are not familiar with them may imagine that – with the exception, perhaps, of some lavishly illuminated books – they are just dead and dusty old things. Quite the contrary: there is life in them, like in the dried grains found in the Egyptian tombs which, they say, can still sprout. But codices will not be brought back to life unless one knows how...

  10. Two Manuscripts, One Mind: Charles d’Orléans and the Production of Manuscripts in Two Languages (Paris, BN MS fr. 25458 and London, BL MS Harley 682)
    (pp. 61-78)

    AS peace negotiations between the English and French intensified in the late 1430s, Charles d’Orléans’s hopes must have risen. In the final years of his English captivity (1436–1440), the duke was travelling back and forth between first Surrey, then Wiltshire, and London,¹ where he was working actively to nurture the peace process that would end the Hundred Years War. After more than twenty years in England, he must have sensed that the end of his long ordeal was at hand. One bit of evidence for this is that the duke had two manuscripts made, one in French, one in...

  11. Charles d’Orléans et l’‘autre’ langue: Ce français que son ‘cuer amer doit’
    (pp. 79-88)

    PEUT-ON lire la poésie, toute la poésie, comme autre chose qu’un ‘Zwecklosen Sang’,² un chant sans but?

    Pour beaucoup de poètes, rimer, au début du XVe siècle, est aussi, sinon surtout, un ‘Passe Temps’. Comme l’a clairement mis en évidence Jean-Claude Mühlethaler,³ c’est dans cette perspective poétique en ton mineur que semble s’inscrire toute une branche de la production poétique de cette période, de Jean Regnier à Alain Chartier, de François Villon aux Grands Rhétoriqueurs. Par delà le rapprochement traditionnel et courtois aux activités de la chasse, de la pêche ou de l’amour, le mot Passe Temps paraît lié surtout...

  12. Glanures
    (pp. 89-108)

    Whilst the evolution of Charles d’Orléans’s themes and moods, during the five decades of his writing career (1410s to 1450s), has received a good deal of comment,¹ less attention has been paid to the duke’s changing attitude towards his linguistic material, becoming much bolder with the passage of time. Words became objects of fascination for the ageing duke, even to the extent of inventing some, occasionally for rhyming purposes, or introducing others from non-literary sources, numbers appearing in the written language for the first time. Nowhere is his imaginative treatment of words more evident than in his macaronic verse. There...

  13. Le monde vivant
    (pp. 109-122)

    Is the invented narrator in Charles of Orléans’s poetry a split personality? Are there two distinct poetic personae, the persona of the captivity years, introspective and forlorn, and a second post-captivity persona, more confidant, more happily attuned to the world around him? In short, is Charles in 1440 suddenly transformed into an active viewer of and participant in le monde vivant? Such would appear to be the consensus among critics to date:

    The first stage tends to portray the interior world, the poet striving to capture the immediacy of his mental and emotional experience. With the second stage another dimension...

  14. Dreams in The Kingis Quair and the Duke’s Book
    (pp. 123-144)

    IF Mary-Jo Arn had not already devised the appropriate title of Fortunes Stabilnes¹ for the sequence of English poems in MS Harley 682, attributed to Charles, duke of Orléans, I would have liked to call the collection The Duke’s Book for the sake of the parallel with The Kingis Quair, the contemporary poem attributed to King James I of Scotland. These two fifteenth-century books have many similarities. John Burrow has discussed both as products of that period just before the introduction of printing, ‘when the production of manuscript books had reached its highest degree of organisation and efficiency’, and as...

  15. The Literary Milieu of Charles of Orléans and the Duke of Suffolk, and the Authorship of the Fairfax Sequence
    (pp. 145-156)

    THE lives of Charles de Valois, duke of Orléans (1394–1465), and of William de la Pole, 4th earl and 1st duke of Suffolk (1396–1450), were closely intertwined, and some understanding of the circumstances of those lives is necessary to any account of their possible shared literary interests.¹

    William de la Pole served in the 1415 French campaign, but was invalided home after the siege of Harfleur. The death of his father at Harfleur and of his elder brother, briefly the 3rd earl, at Agincourt (where Charles of Orléans was taken prisoner) brought him young to one of England’s...

  16. Charles of Orléans Illuminated
    (pp. 157-164)

    WIDELY famed for its bird’s-eye view of the Tower of London, which is endlessly reproduced in both scholarly and popular contexts, Royal MS 16 F. ii in the British Library is of major interest to all students of the work of Charles of Orléans because it is the only medieval manuscript copy of his work to have been supplied with major illustrations. His poems take up rather more than half of the volume’s 248 leaves and the associated miniatures account for three of the six fully illuminated pages in the book. It has always been clear from copious internal heraldic...

  17. Charles d’Orléans, une prison en porte-à-faux. Co-texte courtois et ancrage référentiel: les ballades de la captivité dans l’édition d’Antoine Vérard (1509)
    (pp. 165-182)

    AU passage du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, la prison et l’exil sont – faut-il le rappeler? – une expérience vécue pour bien des poètes:¹ Jean de Garencières, Jean Regnier, Charles d’Orléans, François Villon, l’anonyme prisonnier du château de Loches,² Clément Marot et François Ier sont parmi les exemples les plus célèbres. Malgré le poids des événements – la guerre surtout, puis les conflits religieux – et l’émergence, paralléle, d’une subjectivité susceptible d’exprimer une expérience individuelle,³ la prison reste un lieu emblématique de la littérature amoureuse et didactique. Le vécu s’y mêle avec l’allégorie dans des rapports, des proportions, qui...

  18. Translation, Canons, and Cultural Capital: Manuscripts and Reception of Charles d’Orléans’s English Poetry
    (pp. 183-214)

    IN the autumn of 1415, in the bloody aftermath of Agincourt field, Charles, duc d’Orléans, was pulled from beneath a heap of bodies and armor into a twenty-five-year English captivity. The historical import of this fact is considerable: this Prince of the house of Valois, later to become father of Louis XII and uncle of François I, would figure largely in the settlements ending the Hundred Years’ War. However, the literary results of Charles’s long imprisonment have not been much studied, given their significance and interest.¹ Captive in several prominent English households, Charles composed more than 13,000 lines of verse...

  19. Bibliographical Supplement
    (pp. 215-226)
  20. Index
    (pp. 227-231)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 232-232)