Romance, Vision & Satire

Romance, Vision & Satire

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Romance, Vision & Satire

Romance, Vision & Satire

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Excerpt

The translations here printed are the first-fruits of a suggestion, made seven years ago by Professor W. H. Schofield, that I should render into modern verse a series of texts, selected by him, and covering the same ground as his history of English Literature from the Norman Conquest to Chaucer. The suggestion appealed to me for many reasons, not the least being that it would give me an opportunity of becoming familiar with works that lay outside the range of my special field of study. Fine as our English Arthurian literature undoubtedly is, it forms but a small section of the Matière de Bretagne, and outside the Arthurian romances I knew but little of our mediæval literature. I felt that, by undertaking the work, I should myself be the gainer, by how much I did not realize; but as time went on, and item after item of the list prepared by Professor Schofield for my guidance was marked off, I became more and more interested in the work, more and more impressed with the extraordinary richness and beauty of mediæval English poetry. In my growing enthusiasm perhaps I somewhat overstepped the limits originally designed, for when, in the winter of 1910, I placed the completed manuscript in Professor Schofield's hands, it had hopelessly outgrown the original scheme of publication. To print the whole as one volume was out of the question . . .

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