The twelfth-century writer Wace is best known for his two influential works on the history of England (the Roman de Brut) and on the history of the Normans (the Roman de Rou), but despite this he has, until recently, been neglected. This book aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all his surviving works, including his hagiographical pieces, La Vie de sainte Marguerite, la Vie de saint Nicolas and La Conception Nostre Dame. Beginning with an examination of the historical and textual background necessary to an informed understanding of the poet, it moves on to discuss the manuscript tradition of each of Wace's poems, together with the sources that underlie each text, highlighting the additions, omissions and modifications made by the poet in adapting his material for new, non-Latinate audience. Particular attention is given to Wace's swan-song, the Roman de Rou, where his skill in combining history and romance is most clearly revealed. Dr F. H. M. Le Saux teaches in the Department of French at the University of Reading.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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