Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Mistere Du Siege d'Orleans

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Mistere Du Siege d'Orleans

Article excerpt

Le Misiere du siege d'Orleans, ed. V. L. Hamblin, TLF (Geneva: Droz, 2002). 818 pp. ISBN 2-600-00643-6. Sw. Fr. 125.00.

This new edition of a particularly interesting play, hitherto only available in a few libraries in the excellent-for-its-time edition of 1862, is a valuable addition to the literature of fifteenth-century France and the beginning of historical drama in Europe.

V. L. Hamblin has sensibly concentrated on the text - all 10,000 lines of it - and limited her commentary to the explanation of the background of the history and legend of the Maid of Orleans's most famous victory. She has made a detailed study of all the sources and documents, and identified the huge cast of French and English nobles and their followers with citations from the chronicles and other contemporary references to the siege, together with a comparison between the play and the known commemorative festival of the raising of the siege, celebrated on 8 May throughout the fifteenth century.

Indeed she has treated the whole text as essentially a historical drama which of course it is, and the first play in French to treat an almost contemporary subject. …

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