Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Vengeance Fromondin

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Vengeance Fromondin

Article excerpt

La Vengeance Fromondin, ed. Jean-Charles Herbin, Société des anciens textes français (Abbeville: F. Paillart, 200;). 520 pp. ISBN 2-906867-03-9. euro40.00. Jean-Charles Herbin's is the first complete and reliable edition of this late continuation of the Lorraine cycle. As Herbin points out in his introduction and in various articles, one should not include this poem in that cycle, despite its being preserved only in Paris, BnF MS f. ft. 1622 with Garin le Loherain and Gerbert de Mes. The new poem takes details from its predecessors and uses them to create what Herbin calls a chanson à clefs, dealing with events from the reign of Louis IX. He sees the real subject of the song as the war between the young Louis and an alliance of barons united under Henry III of England, until the defeat of the latter at Saintes in 1242. These become the Bordelais, the universal villains of La Vengeance Fromondin, which draws into its ambit not only material from the Lorraine cycle, but elements of Raoul de Cambrai, before enforcing a definitive closure of the war between Lorrains and Bordelais by linking them into the Geste de Mongkne and the story of Roncevaux. Although not all the identifications of characters with historical personalities made by Herbin are as obvious as he claims, the arguments set out in pp. 76-94 carry sufficient conviction for his general thesis to be accepted. Herbin's other conclusion, based on very rigorous linguistic and prosodie analyses, that La Vengeance Fromondin is the work of a Picard poet copied in the Lorraine region, is undoubtedly correct. …

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