Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Hugues Capet: Chanson De Geste Du XIVe Siecle

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Hugues Capet: Chanson De Geste Du XIVe Siecle

Article excerpt

Hugues Capet: chanson de geste du XIVe siecle, ed. Noelle Laborderie, Classiques francais du moyen age 122 (Paris: Champion, I997). 472 pp. ISBN 285203-627-4. F. Fr. 250.00.

This lively epic, though the subject of much critical attention and a recent Modern French adaptation, was last published by the marquis de Lagrange in 1864. It originates from north-east France and Noelle Laborderie dates it to c.1360. She finds allusions to contemporary topography, events, and concerns, while showing that the author is also keen to establish links with the Guillaume and Royal cycles, and that the narrative basis is almost pure fiction. This mixture is reflected in the tone and style of the poem, in which traditional features of the chanson de geste are combined with newer elements typical of the fourteenth-century revival. The result is an excellent read, full of life and action, from Hugues's entertainingly rowdy enfances onwards, in spite of some longueurs of expression.

The editing is conservative and seems trustworthy: divergences from Lagrange are mostly lectiones difficiliores. Emendation, generally for metre, is indicated inconsistently, now in the text, now in the notes, now both. The use of parentheses where elision is necessary for scansion (e.g. ;rd pl. -e(nt), line 3163 etc.) is unconventional, and the precocious presence of this elision deserved comment. There is a solid linguistic introduction which highlights northern and Middle French traits, a plot summary, and historical and literary analyses. References and quotations are mostly reliable (but on p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

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.