Academic journal article Medium Aevum

French Arthurian Literature V: The Lay of Mantel

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

French Arthurian Literature V: The Lay of Mantel

Article excerpt

French Arthurian Literature V: The Lay of Mantel, ed. and trans. Glyn S. Burgess and Leslie G Brook (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2013). 178 pp. ISBN 978-1-84384-338-2. £50.00. The current volume represents a new instalment in Burgess and Brook's project of providing new editions with parallel English translations, extensive critical analyses, and bibliographies for the non-Marie de France narrative lays. The lay of Mantel, also known as Le Cort Mantel or Le Mantel mautaillié, has strong comic elements reminiscent of the fabliaux. It is one of around thirty-five surviving medieval French narrative lays, and its apparent popularity is attested by the third greatest number of surviving copies (five manuscripts plus a sixteenth-century prose version, surpassed only by the lay of Oiselet with seven manuscripts and the lay of Aristote with six). Burgess and Brook's edition is based on the version contained in manuscript S (MS Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, nouv. acq. fr. 1104), which is the longest extant version. Manuscript S contains fourteen other non-Marie de France lays, all of which form a part of Burgess and Brook's new edition project (eight of these lays were included in French Arthurian Literature IV: Eleven Old French Narrative Lays, Cambridge: 2007, while others appeared in the Liverpool Online Series and Critical Editions of French Texts). …

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