About the Book
A hitherto largely unappreciated literary genre of the Middle Ages is the legend, the work adapted and translated into vernacular language from Latin. The immense prestige and cultural importance of Classical literature did not end with the political decline of Rome at the end of the fifth century. Latin works, secular and religious, were preserved by the Christian church, with the result that medieval authors had available to them a vast corpus on which they drew deeply and often. Medieval English and French legends: An Anthology of Religious and Secular Narrative is the first anthology to make available the masterpieces of this tradition in a reader-friendly form suited for classroom use. The book includes not only works of a specifically religious nature, such as saints' lives, but those with more secular themes, such as vernacular adaptations of that most renowned of Latin poems, Virgil's Aeneid. Presented in fresh and lively colloquial translations that preserve the wit and elegance of the originals, the works collected here provide a useful introduction to this illuminating area of medieval literary production. A general historical introduction offers an overview of political, cultural, and literary history; because the period discussed is vast, a tabular chronology is also included for the reader's reference. The book also contains an introductory account of the legend genre, as well as numerous other pedagogical aids.
|About the Editor
R. Barton Palmer is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University. Author of many books on film and literary subjects, Palmer is a specialist in English and French literature of the later Middle Ages. He has published seven volumes of editions and translations of the works of noted French authors Guillaume de Machaut and Jean Froissart. Two of these were selected as "outstanding academic books" by Choice magazine. He is currently collaborating on similar projects devoted to the poetry of Charles d'Orleans, Eustache Deschamps, and Christine de Pizan. Palmer has served as the founding general editor of Routledge Medieval Texts. With William Kibler, he has published a companion to this present one, Medieval Epic and Romance: An Anthology of English and French Narrative (College Publishing), and the two scholars are currently preparing a third volume on Arthurian literature of the period, also to be produced by College Publishing.
|Table of Contents
Preface to the Reader
A Brief Historical Introduction
Legends: An Introduction
A Note on the Sources and Translations
The Life of St. Alexis
The Quest of the Holy Grail (Selection)
The Romance of Eneas (Selections)
Dido and Aeneas Moralized (From Ovid Moralized )
The Legend of Good Women