Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Geffrei Gaimar: Estoire Des Engleis/History of the English

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Geffrei Gaimar: Estoire Des Engleis/History of the English

Article excerpt

Geffrei Gaimar: Estoire des Engleis/History of the English., ed. and trans. Ian Short (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). liii + 496 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-956942-7. £85.00. In this volume Ian Short, one of the leading experts on Anglo-Norman literature, offers a well- annotated edition and translation of Geffrei Gaimar's Estoire des Engleis. The text is recognized as the earliest known example of historical writing in the French vernacular (in this case, Anglo-Norman), covering the period from Cerdic's arrival in Britain in 49 5 to the death of William Rufus in noo. It has often been cited as an early example of historical writing edging towards what would develop into courtly romance. Short's introduction addresses questions of sources, authorship, patronage, intended readership, and the general political climate surrounding the composition and early transmission of the poem; he also discusses narrative structure, the striking vignettes that would have increased the interest of the Estoire for a secular authence, the portrayal of women, and the treatment of feudal structures and values. …

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