An Introduction to Medieval Romance

An Introduction to Medieval Romance

An Introduction to Medieval Romance

An Introduction to Medieval Romance

Excerpt

The aim of this work is merly to offer a general survey of the chief themes and features of medieval romance to readers who have made no deep study of the subject but are sufficiently interested to desire a systematic survey. No attempt has been made to cover the whole field of European romance, which could be satisfactorily done only in a very large work and by the combined efforts of many scholars. The present discussion is largely confined to those themes of romance represented in English versions, with occasional reference to French romances unrepresented in English, but of outstanding fame. But since almost all English romances are mere translations more or less close from French versions, it has been necessary to pay close attention to the French originals, because in them originated the form and spirit of all medieval romance. The method adopted has been to classify the chief themes, using the French versions as basis and alluding to the English versions; to group in one chapter the main differences between English and French romance; and finally to discuss the prominent features of romance, again illustrating any important differences between the English and the French. In these final chapters the aim has been to stress differences between English and French romance where they reflect real differences in sentiment between the two nations; since many English romances were composed only for the uneducated classes, while the French originals were composed for the educated, their variations often only represent differences between educated and uneducated people, and these differences are noted in Chapter IX; racial differences may clearly be seen only by comparing the English romances written for the educated classes after English had once again become the national language.

To give a synopsis of each theme is rendered almost impossible by the numerous variations in different ver-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.