Academic journal article Medium Aevum

René d'Anjou: Le Livre Du Coeur D'amour éPris

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

René d'Anjou: Le Livre Du Coeur D'amour éPris

Article excerpt

René d'Anjou: Le Livre du coeur d'amour épris, ed. Florence Bouchet, Lettres gothiques (Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 2005). 532 pp.; 16 colour plates. ISBN 2-53-06680-X. euro13.00. This most recent edition of René d'Anjou's Livre is an excellent addition to, and synthesis of, the increasing volume of European scholarship devoted to this work. Once renowned principally for the magnificent miniatures contained in Codex Vindobonensis 2597 of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and available only to specialists, the Livre has most recently been made available to a broader audience by Stephanie Viereck Gibbs and Kathryn Karczewska's highly commended edition and English translation. Bouchet's edition creates its own niche by its much greater affordability than the Gibbs and Karczewska version, which remains primarily confined to library collections, and by its service to making René's work accessible in parallel Middle French/Modern French format. Bouchet's valuable addition to the Lettres gothiques series thus supersedes Susan Wharton's now out-of-print 10/18 edition, and offers a full and informative critical apparatus as well as beautiful colour plates of selected miniatures from Vienna MS 2597 and from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS f. fr. 24399.

The edition's presentation is clear and uncluttered: the selection of variants, presented beneath the Middle French text, is clearly explained, while critical notes, set beneath the modern French translation, are helpfully generous, providing historical specifications and literary contextualizations, as well as pointing up instances of word-play that cannot be rendered in the translation. Bouchet's text uses the same base manuscript as Wharton, Paris, BnF, MS f. fr. 24399, with the Vienna codex and a second Paris version, BnF, MS f. fr. 1509, used as control manuscripts. A list of all seven extant (though sometimes incomplete) versions of the Livre is provided, together with a detailed discussion of editorial and translation principles. …

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