Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Philippe De Remi; le Roman De la Manekine

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Philippe De Remi; le Roman De la Manekine

Article excerpt

Philipe de Remi; Le Roman de la Manekine, ed. from Paris, BN, MS f. fr. 1588 and trans. Barbara N. Sargent-Baur with contributions by Alison Stones and Roger Middleton, Faux Titre 59 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999). ii + 672 pp. ISBN 90-420-0614-5. Hfl. 320.00/F. fr. 960.00/$I76.00/L104.00.

Over the past twenty years or so there has been a renewal of interest in the early thirteenth-century romancer and lyric poet Philippe de Remi, alias de Beaumanoir. Of his two romances, La Manekine is the longer and earlier (8,590 lines). It is pious in tone, and rich in myths and romance motifs: the heroine Joie amputates her left hand to avoid an incestuous marriage to her father, and later has to contend with a wicked mother-in-law after her marriage to the King of Scotland. She becomes separated from him for seven years, but never abandons her trust in God or her love for her husband, and eventually all ends happily through divine intervention. Whereas Philippe's other romance,Jehan et Blonde, exists in a modern edition by Sylvie Lecuyer (CFMA, 1984), scholars have until now had to rely on the SATF edition of La Manekine by Hermann Suchier, which was published in 1884 and is now out of print.

Barbara Sargent-Baur's edition comes with an excellent critical apparatus and generous introduction, showing the value of collaborative effort. Alison Stones provides a full description of the contents of the unique manuscript of Philippe's writings, including the rather indistinct miniatures. BN, MS f. fr. 1588 dates from c.1300, and was produced in the Arras region. Stones gives a detailed account of book production in this area at that time, followed by an analysis of the styles of illumination and decoration of the artists involved in this and other similar manuscripts. A photographic reproduction in black and white of all the miniatures in BN, MS f. …

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