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Language and Culture in Medieval Britain

Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, c.1100-c.1500

Edited by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Carolyn Collette
Maryanne Kowaleski
Linne Mooney
Ad Putter
David Trotter
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 562
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  • Book Info
    Language and Culture in Medieval Britain
    Book Description:

    With co-editors: CAROLYN COLLETTE, MARYANNE KOWALESKI, LINNE MOONEY, AD PUTTER, and DAVID TROTTER. England was more widely and enduringly francophone in the middle ages than many standard accounts of its history, culture and language allow. The development of French in England, whether known as "Anglo-Norman" or "Anglo-French", is deeply interwoven both with medieval English and with the spectrum of Frenches, insular and continental, used within and outside the realm. As the language of nearly a thousand literary texts, of much administration, and of many professions and occupations, the French of England needs more attention than it has so far received. The essays in this volume form a new cultural history focussed round, but not confined to, the presence and interactions of French speakers, writers, readers, texts and documents in England from the eleventh to the later fifteenth century. Taking the French of England into account does not simply add new material to our existing narratives of medieval English culture, but changes them, restoring a multi-vocal, multi-cultural medieval England in all its complexity, and opening up fresh agendas for study and exploration. Contributors: HENRY BAINTON, MICHAEL BENNETT, JULIA BOFFEY, RICHARD BRITNELL, CAROLYN COLLETTE, GODFRIED CROENEN, HELEN DEEMING, STEPHANIE DOWNES, MARTHA DRIVER, MONICA H. GREEN, RICHARD INGHAM, REBECCA JUNE, MARYANNE KOWALESKI, PIERRE KUNSTMANN, FRANCOISE H. M. LE SAUX, SERGE LUSIGNAN, TIM WILLIAM MACHAN, JULIA MARVIN, BRIAN MERRILEES, RUTH NISSE, MARILYN OLIVA, W. MARK ORMROD, HEATHER PAGAN, LAURIE POSTLEWATE, JEAN-PASCAL POUZET, AD PUTTER, GEOFF RECTOR, DELBERT RUSSELL, THEA SUMMERFIELD, ANDREW TAYLOR, DAVID TROTTER, ELIZABETH M. TYLER, NICHOLAS WATSON, JOCELYN WOGAN-BROWNE, ROBERT F. YEAGER.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-740-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations and Tables
    (pp. viii-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  7. General Introduction: What’s in a Name: The ‘French’ of ‘England’
    (pp. 1-14)
    Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

    ‘The French of England’ is a term designed to embrace medieval francophony in England, from the eleventh century to the fifteenth. In previous study of insular medieval culture, French has usually been divided into two periods and fields labelled respectively ‘Anglo-Norman’ and ‘Anglo-French’. The problem lies not in the inappropriateness of either term but in the division itself and the separateness and self-enclosure of the categories they have come to signify. ‘Anglo- Norman’, a coinage first found in the eighteenth century, generally denotes French texts composed in the British Isles from the Conquest to the early fourteenth century. ‘Anglo-French’, a...

    (pp. 17-18)

    This section offers a series of linguistic and socio-linguistic forays revitalizing the existing accounts of how French was used in England and showing how its history is longer, its class range wider, and its uses more specific, more part of particular linguistic politics, than is allowed for by the reflex conservatism often assumed to explain continuing composition in Anglo-Norman.

    The section opens with further reflections by Serge Lusignan on his important work on royal and administrative French in England, whose linguistic situation, he concludes, may be typical rather than unusual in medieval Europe. Mark Ormrod shows the continuing value of...

  9. 1 French Language in Contact with English: Social Context and Linguistic Change (mid-13th–14th centuries)
    (pp. 19-30)
    Serge Lusignan

    The presence of French in England, especially from 1066 onwards, created one of the most intricate linguistic situations in medieval Europe. Certainly, no society is ever truly monolingual, and England was already a meeting place for Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Scandinavian. Moreover England, and most other societies elsewhere in Europe, relied on Latin, a living language for clerics but the mother tongue of no one. With the arrival of the Normans, French asserted itself as the language of the ruling elites in society and the vernacular of a prolific written culture. Over time it became the second language for the greater...

  10. 2 The Language of Complaint: Multiligualism and Petitioning in Later Medieval England
    (pp. 31-43)
    W. Mark Ormrod

    This study focuses on the three ‘official’ languages of later medieval law and government – Latin, French and English – and their particular usage in relation to petitions to the crown. It aims to reconsider the influences that drove the initial choice of French as the language of petitioning in the late thirteenth century and led to the adoption of English as a valid alternative for these documents by the mid-fifteenth century. It also addresses the oral/aural qualities of the petition and attempts to rationalize the relationship between written and spoken forms through analysis of the language employed by the authors of...

  11. 3 The Persistence of Anglo-Norman 1230–1362: A Linguistic Perspective
    (pp. 44-54)
    Richard Ingham

    The issue addressed in this essay is whether later Anglo-Norman (AN) was no more than a fossilized version of the French brought over with the Conqueror, or whether it continued to evolve as part of the French dialect continuum. Much has been made of what, according to Kibbee,¹ was a ‘fundamental difference’ between the French used in England and that used on the Continent by virtue of the fact that there it was a mother tongue, whereas in England, after the initial few generations following the Conquest, it was not. But that does not mean that later AN can be...

  12. 4 Syntaxe anglo-normande: étude de certaines caractéristiques du XIIe au XIVe siècle
    (pp. 55-67)
    Pierre Kunstmann

    Dans le domaine de la morphosyntaxe anglo-normande on peut constater, en ancien français, trois points qui caractérisent nettement, dès le XIIe siècle, cette variété de la langue française et la distinguent des dialectes en usage sur le continent. Il s’agit, d’une part, de ce qu’on appelle communément la disparition de la déclinaison, d’autre part de l’apparition précoce de la forme lequel, pronom relatif, dans les textes religieux ainsi que de l’usage croissant du relatif que sujet avec pour antécédent un nom de personne. Je ne m’attarderai pas sur le premier point, car il est trop connu ; je m’attacherai, par...

  13. 5 ‘“Fi a debles,” quath the king’: Language-mixing in England’s Vernacular Historical Narratives, c.1290 – c.1340.
    (pp. 68-80)
    Thea Summerfield

    Historically and ethnically wide-ranging narratives like the extensively disseminated Brut chronicles in English and Anglo-Norman vibrate with countless, largely implicit voices speaking a range of languages. The kings, their subjects and their enemies who people these works and speak in them – Trojans, Saxons, Danes, Normans, and many others, including people of different social status – do so most often, but not always, in the language of their authors, who themselves were writing at a time (the reign of Edward I) when the variety of languages in use in England was much discussed. The use of French especially had long been associated...

  14. 6 Uses of French Language in Medieval English Towns
    (pp. 81-89)
    Richard Britnell

    The use of French in medieval English towns has no simple explanation. Amongst highly born and better-educated members of English society, French was known as a high-status, international language of conversation, and as a means of access to literature of high quality. In the king’s courts it was also an argot of common lawyers, and continued in use as a written language after it had ceased to be spoken in the courts.¹ An explanation of these phenomena in terms of the sociology of social stratification, symbolic representation and social closure would seem to present few problems. But these considerations come...

  15. 7 The French of England in Female Convents: The French Kitcheners’ Accounts of Campsey Ash Priory
    (pp. 90-102)
    Marilyn Oliva

    Administrative documents from English medieval female convents are relatively rare. Household accounts – those kept by household officers, or obedientiaries such as treasurers, cellarers and sacrists, for example – which detail their annual income, expenses and supplies that suggest a monastery’s internal operations survive for only twenty-seven convents – about twenty per cent – of the 132 female houses in medieval England.¹ Most of these accounts are either fragments, single documents or survive in pairs, date from the late fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries and are in Latin or English. Only about a third have been published.² By contrast, significantly more accounts survive – and...

  16. 8 The French of England: A Maritime lingua franca?
    (pp. 103-117)
    Maryanne Kowaleski

    One of the long-standing issues in the study of the French of England revolves around who exactly could speak, write, and read French in medieval England. Most scholars accept that few below the level of the aristocracy, upper gentry, and the clerical elite spoke French regularly, even in the heyday of French literary culture in England which stretched from the late twelfth to the late fourteenth century. We know too that lawyers and judges, most of gentry status but some from the upper bourgeois or even prosperous yeoman class, could read and speak French because it was the language of...

  17. 9 John Barton, John Gower and Others: Variation in Late Anglo-French
    (pp. 118-134)
    Brian Merrilees and Heather Pagan

    Early in the fifteenth century John Barton, a native of Chester who had studied in Paris, makes the following claim in his Donait (‘grammar’):

    Pour ceo que les bones gens du roiaume d’Engleterre sont enbrasez a sçavoir lire et escrire, entendre et parler droit françois, a fin qu’ils puissent entrecomuner bonement ove lour voisins, c’est a dire les bones gens du roiaume de France, … tres necessaire je cuide estre aus Engleis de sçavoir la droite nature de françois … je, Johan Barton, escolier de Paris, nee et nourie toutez voiez d’Engleterre en la conté de Cestre, j’ey baillé aus...

  18. 10 John Gower’s French and his Readers
    (pp. 135-146)
    R. F. Yeager

    The collected works of the English poet John Gower, who died in 1408, run to around 30,000 lines, divided into Latin, Middle English and French at roughly a third each. Linguistically speaking, Gower perhaps deserves to be called, as he often is, a fence-sitter, but there is of course another way to look at Gower’s three languages. Indeed, he suggests it himself (for I am quite convinced that the words are his own) in a Latin poem supposedly penned by ‘a certain philosopher’ and known, from its first two words, as ‘Eneidos, Bucolis’.¹ In it, Gower is found superior to...

    (pp. 149-152)

    For all the significance that has been attached to the Norman Conquest, it is becoming increasingly possible to see overlaps and continuities in the multilingual and multicultural England of the eleventh to twelfth centuries.¹ In the opening essay of this section, David Trotter argues that the Conquest was not the defining linguistic event it became in nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography and shows that French lexis was already functional in some kinds of texts. Elizabeth Tyler further argues that French can help us undo a prevailing narrative of Anglo-Saxon England as lost in the Conquest. Anglo-Saxon culture was already international, multilingual...

  20. 11 ‘Stuffed Latin’: Vernacular Evidence in Latin Documents
    (pp. 153-163)
    David Trotter

    ‘Stuffed Latin’, or ‘latin farci’, is a term used for the incorporation of vernacular elements in Latin documents in (especially) southern France during the tenth, eleventh, and early twelfth centuries.¹ A number of the Latin documents from this period contain isolated words, or more importantly, phrases, and also proper names in Occitan. This is in some respects a curiosity: northern France does not exhibit the same pattern, although it has been associated with other Romance-speaking areas, and, in general, it is considered that this is a north–south divide, with the south following the practice and the north eschewing it.²...

  21. 12 From Old English to Old French
    (pp. 164-178)
    Elizabeth M. Tyler

    Coming to the French of England from the standpoint of the literature of Anglo-Saxon England provides a space in which to step away from the narrative of loss that so powerfully shapes the Anglo-Saxonist’s view of the literary cultures of England across the eleventh and twelfth centuries. According to this narrative, somewhere in the eleventh century, the world of Beowulf, the Exeter Book and Ælfric disappeared. Although the Norman Conquest is seen as the death knell of Anglo-Saxon literature in this narrative, scholars generally lose interest well before 1066. In many ways, 1023 and the death of the famous homilist...

  22. 13 Translating the ‘English’ Past: Cultural Identity in the Estoire des Engleis
    (pp. 179-187)
    Henry Bainton

    The title of the only identifiable work by Geffrei Gaimar, L’Estoire des Engleis, has long and unfairly coloured its reception, and has cast dark shadows over the nuances of its contents.¹ The Estoire is frequently perceived as an unproblematically national history,² a product of a time when the homogenous ‘Normans’ and the monolithic ‘English’ vied for control over the territory of an unproblematic England and its singular, English, past.³ It is seen above all as a straightforward means by which the Normans who commissioned it could attach themselves to, and root themselves in, England and its past and so ‘become’...

  23. 14 The Languages of England: Multilingualism in the Work of Wace
    (pp. 188-197)
    Françoise H. M. Le Saux

    The Prologue of Lawman’s Brut famously refers to Wace as ‘a Frenchis clerc’, who presented his Roman de Brut to ‘Ælienor þe wes Henries quene’,¹ thus projecting an image both of social success and of foreignness: Wace is French (as opposed to the English Lawman), and his patron (real or hoped-for) is the no-less-foreign Eleanor of Aquitaine. And indeed, there is no disputing Wace’s significance within French cultural history: he was the first writer to have written about King Arthur in the French vernacular, and his style influenced that of the great Chrétien de Troyes. However, Wace is equally significant...

  24. 15 An Illustrious Vernacular: The Psalter en romanz in Twelfth-Century England
    (pp. 198-206)
    Geoff Rector

    Two distinct cultural impulses govern the vernacularization of literary reading and taste in twelfth-century England: one, familiar from the ‘mettre en romanz’ claims of so many romances, that seems to draw outwards or downwards from Latin towards the vernacular; and another that understands translation into romanz as a movement upwards towards refinement from the demotic, the local and the unpolished. To account for both impulses is to balance the sociolinguistic and literary dynamics of post-Conquest English life against the broader cultural phenomena of the twelfth-century renaissance. In this environment, romanz is both ennobled and ennobling, an instance of the ‘illustrious,...

  25. 16 Serpent’s Head/ Jew’s Hand: Le Jeu d’Adam and Christian–Jewish Debate in Norman England
    (pp. 207-219)
    Ruth Nisse

    The Ordo Representacionis Ade, or Jeu d’Adam, has long been understood as a play about language. With the two distinct registers of its first section, the Latin liturgy of Septuagesima and the lively Anglo-French dialogue between God – called Figura – and his subjects, Adam, Eve and the serpent (Diabolus), the play dramatizes not only the Fall but the nature of representation itself. In an influential reading by Eugene Vance, Latin is ‘the universal timeless medium of grammatica itself and therefore closest to truth; Romance was a mere historical accident, a degraded image of its Latin prototype … the artistic vehicle of...

  26. 17 Salerno on the Thames: The Genesis of Anglo-Norman Medical Literature
    (pp. 220-232)
    Monica H. Green

    Over the past two decades, Tony Hunt has edited nearly half the corpus of the Anglo-Norman medical texts and recipe collections surveyed by Ruth Dean in 1999.¹ Although the recipes – whose sources are inherently difficult to trace no matter what language they are written in – represent a diverse array of learned and ‘popular’ origins, Hunt’s detailed researches make clear that all of the major texts he edited were direct translations of Latin works. As a medical historian specializing in Latin medical literature, I can confirm from the broader Western European perspective the now common view that Anglo-Norman was ‘precocious’. Aside...

    (pp. 235-238)

    The richness of thirteenth-century French literary culture in England has been partly acknowledged in various ways, notably by scholars of Middle English romance, some of whom have long studied the interrelations between their texts and the francophone romances that precede and continue alongside them.¹ The field continues to be vigorous, but there is still much fascinating work to be done.² Beyond romance, still more work remains in integrating the large corpus of French devotional and doctrinal writing that both precedes the fourth Lateran Council and intensifies after it. What was once supposed to be a period in which there was...

  28. 18 ‘Cest livre liseez … chescun jour’: Women and Reading c.1230–c.1430
    (pp. 239-253)
    Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

    The changing emphases of vernacular pastoralia as they imagine and support the confessor’s or the penitent’s role are increasingly acknowledged as part of a culturally and politically charged reading history of great importance in late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Middle English studies.¹ A kind of reading that may be loosely characterized as penitential – reading conceived as a disciplined, interior scrutiny of the self in relation to the particular ontology of Christian salvation history – remains a leading model of self-knowledge and self-fashioning in medieval culture from Lateran IV to Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale and beyond. This essay argues that, like a number of...

  29. 19 French Devotional Texts in Thirteenth-Century Preachers’ Anthologies
    (pp. 254-265)
    Helen Deeming

    Informally produced miscellanies originating in late twelfth- and thirteenth-century Britain constitute an under-exploited resource for the study of medieval literate society. Often written by a number of scribes over a period of time, these books can be particularly difficult to date or localize, although it seems that – in the main – they were produced within religious communities and most often small houses or dependent cells. Their script, layout and production are all of fairly modest standards, and they seem to have been practical books, for those whose access to more extensive textual resources may have been limited. What the manuscripts lack...

  30. 20 Augustinian Canons and their Insular French Books in Medieval England: Towards An Assessment
    (pp. 266-277)
    Jean-Pascal Pouzet

    This essay presents elements from a book in preparation provisionally entitled, ‘Augustinian Canons and the Making of English Culture, c.1150–c.1540’, which naturally includes a consideration of manuscripts in the French language in Augustinian hands. In the larger study, the aim is to cover French books imported from the Continent to England, and, most particularly, books produced in England in Insular French. The first category will include books acquired directly from France, but for English Augustinians this is not likely to yield very much, as the English Augustinian houses are among those with fewest institutional links, or links severed at...

  31. 21 Eschuer peché, embracer bountee: Social Thought and Pastoral Instruction in Nicole Bozon
    (pp. 278-289)
    Laurie Postlewate

    As we reflect on the social contexts of the French language in medieval England, it is important to consider the strong tradition of homiletic texts providing catechetical instruction, and moral and spiritual guidance.¹ Produced in an environment of increased awareness of the catechetical needs of both the clergy and the laity, and in response to the mandates of Lateran IV in 1215 and the 1281 Council of Lambeth, these works are among the most imaginative in the Anglo-Norman corpus.² In explaining sin, how and why one should confess, and what it is to be a good Christian, texts of pastoral...

  32. 22 The Cultural Context of the French Prose remaniement of the Life of Edward the Confessor by a Nun of Barking Abbey
    (pp. 290-302)
    Delbert W. Russell

    The Vita Edwardi by Aelred of Rievaulx, dedicated to Henry II and written about 1161–3, is a politically engaged work, designed to bolster the claims of legitimacy of Henry II as descendant of both Norman and English royal families.¹ The Vita Edwardi was twice translated into French verse, first by a nun of Barking shortly after 1163, and almost a century later, by Matthew Paris, in a translation for the court of Henry III, dedicated to Queen Eleanor of Provence.

    But it is the twelfth-century life from Barking, of almost 7,000 lines, not the thirteenth-century life by Matthew Paris,...

  33. 23 The Vitality of Anglo-Norman in Late Medieval England: The Case of the Prose Brut Chronicle
    (pp. 303-319)
    Julia Marvin

    With over fifty manuscripts in three basic versions, the prose Brut chronicle appears to survive in more copies than any other long Anglo-Norman work. Five manuscripts exist of its Oldest Version, which was written around the beginning of the fourteenth century in the north of England and which offers a complete history of Britain from the fall of Troy to the death of Henry III in 1272.¹ Based on (among other things) the Historia regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Wace’s Roman de Brut, Gaimar’s Estoire des Engleis, a version of the Latin chronicle of the Premonstratensian house of Barlings,...

  34. 24 France in England: Anglo-French Culture in the Reign of Edward III
    (pp. 320-333)
    Michael Bennett

    The fourteenth century sees a major shift in secular literary culture in England. In the reign of Edward I (1272–1307) French was the accepted medium of high literary expression. By the beginning of the fifteenth century English had largely displaced French as the language of composition in most literary genres. While the ‘rise of English’ has been examined from a number of perspectives, until recently less attention has been paid to exploring French culture in fourteenth-century England.¹ This essay reviews a range of evidence relating to the availability, circulation and production of French texts in the middle decades of...

  35. 25 Lollardy: The Anglo-Norman Heresy?
    (pp. 334-346)
    Nicholas Watson

    My title, a play on the title of a famous article by Anne Hudson, is supposed to produce a frisson of donnish surprise, ideally accompanied by other affects, ranging from a shocked ‘What in heaven?’ to the curious ‘My goodness, how interesting’, all the way to the weary ‘Here we go again’.¹ On the one hand, the title may seem opportunistic in its attempt to link Anglo-Norman to a heresy that, particularly over the last decade, has represented the dernier cri in late medieval scholarly fashion. On the other, the title’s insistence on positing a link between a movement whose...

  36. 26 The Languages of Memory: The Crabhouse Nunnery Manuscript
    (pp. 347-358)
    Rebecca June

    The Crabhouse nunnery manuscript, with its entries from the late thirteenth to the late fifteenth century, has been called many things:¹ quaint, picturesque, confusing, or just plain jumbled. Although some scholars refer to it as a cartulary, the British Library labels the manuscript a ’register’, as does Mary Bateson, its sole editor to date.² Davis includes the manuscript in his Short Catalogue of Cartularies, but lists it in the category ‘Other Registers, etc.’ because it was ‘at some point wrongly described as a cartulary’.³ For lack of a better term, I will refer to the manuscript as simply that – the...

    (pp. 361-362)

    In the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, insular French texts become rarer in comparison with the continental French texts circulating in England, but copies of historiographical and other texts continue to be produced, and new prayers, hymns, psalters, letters, accounts, wills, petitions, and other documents and records continue to be composed. The Frenches of England remain as working languages in the different registers of various occupational communities and for particular social rituals. Beyond the fifteenth century, French is a much less substantial presence in England, though the idea of French continues to play a role in English understanding of insular...

  38. 27 French, English, and the Late Medieval Linguistic Repertoire
    (pp. 363-372)
    Tim William Machan

    The linguistic repertoire of late medieval England was complex, unstable, and socially charged. If the languages an individual used – Latin, French, English, or any of the indigenous Celtic languages – were in part functions of birth and upbringing, their use in particular domains helped sustain the dynamics of society. Like individual speech acts, moreover, languages had meaning in relation to one another. The meaning of French within England’s repertoire, for example, evolved from not only its uses but also its status in relation to the other languages of the repertoire, individually as well as collectively. And like linguistic history, language dynamics...

  39. 28 Aristotle, Translation and the Mean: Shaping the Vernacular in Late Medieval Anglo-French Culture
    (pp. 373-385)
    Carolyn Collette

    One of the defining characteristics of late medieval Anglo-French court culture on both sides of the Channel is its attention to the importance of the mean expressed as interest in mediation and moderation in vernacular literature, chronicles, and governance texts. This culture did not invent intercession, a long-standing social and political practice in medieval Europe, but it valorized intercession as essential to good governance and, in developing the lexis of the mean and mediation, placed intercession within a newly widened network of terms and thought.¹ Late medieval Anglo-French ideas of the mean drew inspiration from a variety of sources, particularly...

  40. 29 Writing English in a French Penumbra: The Middle English ‘Tree of Love’ in MS Longleat 253
    (pp. 386-396)
    Julia Boffey

    In the Marquess of Bath’s library at Longleat House, Warminster, is a small volume of 95 folios, now MS 253, whose medieval title appears to have been ‘The book of knyghthode’.¹ It is best known to scholars for its inclusion (on fols. 2–75v) of a copy of the translation of Christine de Pizan’s Epistre d’Othea made probably round about 1440 by Stephen Scrope (c.1396–1472) for his stepfather Sir John Fastolf (1380–1459), a text edited from this manuscript in 1904 by Sir George Warner, and collated by Curt F. Bühler for his 1970 Early English Text Society edition,...

  41. 30 The French of English Letters: Two Trilingual Verse Epistles in Context
    (pp. 397-408)
    Ad Putter

    I would like to focus on a pair of remarkable trilingual poems from around 1400, which take the fictional form of a pair of letters. One of these, entitled De amico ad amicam in a Latin rubric, is from a lover to his lady and opens with the French verse A celuy que plus eyme en mounde; the other, which purports to be the lady’s reply, is headed Responcio, and begins A soun treschere et special. The poems have been edited several times, most recently by Thomas Duncan, on the basis of the two manuscripts that were then known to...

  42. 31 The Reception of Froissart’s Writings in England: The Evidence of the Manuscripts
    (pp. 409-419)
    Godfried Croenen

    The anonymous author of a rhetorical treatise known as Les règles de la seconde rhétorique, written in northern France sometime between 1411 and 1432, opened his work with a list of poets, in which he included Jean Froissart. He mentioned him as an important writer of poetry in French, but he reminded his readers that Froissart ‘wrote all his works in honour of the English’.¹ Although principally meant as a remark about Froissart’s poetic ǽuvre, the comment may also have been applicable to his historical output. Both Froissart’s poetry and his Chronicles were begun in the 1360s when the young...

  43. 32 ‘Me fault faire’: French Makers of Manuscripts for English Patrons
    (pp. 420-443)
    Martha W. Driver

    The Hundred Years’ War was a period when boundaries, particularly in France, were more malleable than we now think of them as being. Warfare, moreover, was accompanied by cross-cultural exchange that transcended geographic or national identity. Cities like Paris, Rouen and Calais were held for long periods by the English, and their wealthier English inhabitants commissioned books from local scribes and artists, some of whom later travelled to England to continue their careers writing and illuminating manuscripts. The manuscripts of the period were quite often copied by multilingual scribes and illuminated by peripatetic artists for patrons of different nationalities: in...

  44. 33 The French Self-Presentation of an English Mastiff: John Talbot’s Book of Chivalry
    (pp. 444-456)
    Andrew Taylor

    For that enthusiastic patriot Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Burne, a military historian of the old school, the death of Sir John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, at the Battle of Castillon in 1453 marked the end of the Hundred Years’ War. Without peerless Talbot, the English Achilles, all hope of regaining the land lost since the coming of Joan of Arc faded. But what a death! His head adorned only by a purple velvet cap (for, when ransomed three years earlier, he had sworn an oath never again to wear armour against the French king), Talbot had brought a small company by forced...

  45. 34 A ‘Frenche booke called the Pistill of Othea’: Christine de Pizan’s French in England
    (pp. 457-468)
    Stephanie Downes

    Christine de Pizan anticipated, actively encouraged and even occasionally oversaw the exportation and reception of her manuscripts throughout Europe. She specified, however, the importance of their dissemination in French:

    [P]arce que la dicte langue plus est commune par l’univers monde que quel conques autre, ne demourra pas pour tant vague et non utile nostre dicte oeuvre, qui durera au siecle sanz decheement par diverses copies.

    (Since French is a more common and universal language than any other, this work will not remain unknown and useless, but will endure in its many copies throughout the world.)¹

    For scholars of Christine’s reception...

    (pp. 469-520)
    (pp. 521-526)
    (pp. 527-528)
    (pp. 529-534)
  50. Back Matter
    (pp. 535-539)