Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Las 'Mocedades De Rodrigo': Estudios Criticos, Manuscrito Y Edicion

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Las 'Mocedades De Rodrigo': Estudios Criticos, Manuscrito Y Edicion

Article excerpt

Las 'Mocedades de Rodrigo': estadios criticos, manuscrite y edition, ed. Matthew Bailey, King's College London Medieval Studies 15 (London: KCL Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, 1999). x + 216 pp.; 28 colour plates. ISBN 0-9522119-7-1. £55.00.

Las Mocedades de Rodrigo was for long the forgotten text of the Spanish epic tradition, it was often written off as 'late' or 'corrupt' epic in histories of literature. Its rehabilitation can be said to date from the 1950s and 1960s, with Samuel Armistead's (still unpublished) doctoral dissertation 'La gesta de las mocedades de Rodrigo: reflections of a lost epic poem ...' (1955), and the publication of Alan Deyermond's Epic Poetry and the Clergy (1969), which made a convincing case for clerical influence on the surviving poem (thus leading to a fundamental reappraisal of the importance of learned elements in the tradition).

The poem, however, has slowly come into its own, forming a major part of the material studied in an important recent Cambridge Ph.D. dissertation by Tom Caldin, and also as the subject of this indispensable monographic collection, incorporating a photographic reproduction of the manuscript (Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, MS fonds espagnol 12), a near-palaeographic edition by Fatima Alfonso Pinto, a full bibliography, and eight important contributions from appropriate specialists.

Among these, pride of place must go, naturally and deservedly, to the two scholars mentioned above whose work almost half a century ago inaugurated a new era of interest in the Mocedades. Samuel Armistead, drawing on a related field he has very much made his own, contributes an essay on 'Las mocedades de Rodrigo y el Romancero'; and Alan Deyermond revisits the material of his 1969 monograph in a fresh look at the authorship of the work. …

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