Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The History of the Norman People: Wace's 'Roman De Rou'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The History of the Norman People: Wace's 'Roman De Rou'

Article excerpt

The History of the Norman People: Wace's 'Roman de Rou', trans. Glyn S. Burgess, with notes by Glyn S. Burgess and Elisabeth van Houts (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 7004). lxii + 263 pp. ISBN 1-84383-007-8. £19.99/$35.00. Glyn Burgess's new translation of Wace's Roman de Ron appeared in the Société Jersiaise edition of the text in 2002; Boydell have now made it available on its own, with the introduction supplemented by Elisabeth van Houts's 'Wace as historian', reprinted from Family Trees and the Roots of Politics (an excellent addition). As one would expect, the text is clear and in general extremely accurate. Burgess has faced the usual problems of turning Old French verse - and Wace's verse is often heavily rhetorical - into modern English prose, and dealt with them almost wholly successfully; if his translation is occasionally a little stilted, it is hard to see how it could be otherwise and remain faithful to what Wace wrote. (Even the occasional odd expressions and non sequitun in English are usually faithful reflections of scribal insufficiencies in the Old French. …

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