Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Philippe De Remi: Jehan et Blonde: Poems and Songs

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Philippe De Remi: Jehan et Blonde: Poems and Songs

Article excerpt

Philippe de Remi: Jehan et Blonde: Poems and Songs, ed. from Paris, BNF fr. 1588, Paris BNF fr. 24006, and Paris BNF fr. 837 and trans. Barbara N. Sargent-Baur, Faux Titre 201 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001). ii + 568 pp. ISBN 90-420-1504-7. Hfl. 300.00/$127.50. This volume completes Barbara Sargent-Baur's edition of the two romances and the handful of lyric poems and songs attributed to Philippe de Remi. It follows her earlier volume devoted to Philippe's first romance, La Manekine, which was published in the same series in 1999 (reviewed in MÆ, 70 (2001), 147f.). Together the two volumes constitute the first complete edition of works ascribed to Philippe père. The most complete previous edition is that by Hermann Suchier (SATF, 1884-5), which contains the romances and lyric poems found in MS BnF fr. 1588, the only manuscript which has preserved this material. The other two manuscripts used by Sargent-Baur provide a further eleven songs, and a Resverie, this last being of doubtful attribution. Most of the volume is taken up by the 6,262-line romance Jehan et Blonde. It is accompanied on the facing page by a line-by-line English translation, which reads well and includes such inspired renderings as 'bedfastness' for 'gesine' (line 748), in reference to Jehan's lovesickness. Sargent-Baur also makes a creditable stab at translating the difficult passages of mangled French spoken by the Earl of Gloucester. Introductory discussion concerning this romance is confined to issues specific to it, the reader being referred to the earlier volume for more general points, such as an account of MS BnF fr. 1588 and the identity of the author. Recent arguments concerning the dating of Jehan a Blonde are reviewed, but Sargent-Baur is rightly cautious in stating that we can assume only that it was written after La Manekine and before Philippe's death in 1265. …

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