Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anne of France: Lessons for My Daughter

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Anne of France: Lessons for My Daughter

Article excerpt

Anne of France: Lessons for my Daughter, trans. with introd., notes, and interpretative essay by Sharon L. Jansen, Library of Medieval Women (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004). xiii + 105 pp. ISBN 1-84584-016-2. £35.00/160.00.

This interesting yet surprisingly little known text - Les Enseignements d'Anne de France, written by the elder daughter of Louis XI for her daughter Suzanne de Bourbon - has been translated by Sharon L. Jansen, and comes sandwiched between a historical introduction and an interpretative essay. It would be nice to offer a wholehearted welcome to this endeavour. Unfortunately the translation which is its raison d'être is riddled with mistakes: 'priez pour les trespassés/pray for your sins', 'nicement habillée et mal en point/nicely dressed but untidy' are not untypical. Jansen has problems with tenses ('en la fin vous en repentiriez'/ 'in the end they are sure to repent'), the subjunctive mood, and, frequently, the negative. In consequence her renderings sometimes give the opposite of the original meaning and regularly deviate to the point of making a nonsense of the text. This doubtless explains the footnotes stating: 'Anne's syntax here is very confused.'

This is the more regrettable in that a lot of work has gone into providing the historical and cultural context. …

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