Academic journal article Medium Aevum

French Courtier-Poet: His Work and His World

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

French Courtier-Poet: His Work and His World

Article excerpt

Eustache Deschamps, French Courier-Poet His Work and his World, ed. Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi, AMS Studies in the Middle Ages zz (New York: AMS Press, 1998). xix + 281 pp. ISBN O-4O4-64162-8. $55.00. Poor Eustache has never enjoyed much of a readership - until now, when the passionate partisanship of scholars like Deborah Sinnreich-Levi and Laura Kendrick seems at last to be bearing some fruit. This collective volume, the first to be devoted to Deschamps, argues, rightly, for the poet's centrality to the study of French and English poetry of the fourteenth century, with prefaces to that effect from Stephen G. Nichols and Glending Olson - although there is a characteristically combative paper from William Calin doubting if the famous `Ballade to Chaucer' was anything more than a courtesy piece. The volume has a very broad sweep: notable are a positively encyclopedic biography from Ian Laurie, interesting rereadings of the Miroir de manage by Sylvia Huot and Michelle Stoneburner (both of whom transcend the usual `Deschampsmisogynist' label), and a series of articles which address the more specialist Deschamps: the gourmet (Terence Scully), the `dietician' (Karin Becker on Deschamps's medical verse), the rhetorician (Miren Lacassagne on LArt de dirtier). …

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