Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Jean De Saintré: A Late Medieval Education in Love and Chivalry

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Jean De Saintré: A Late Medieval Education in Love and Chivalry

Article excerpt

Antoine de La Sale, Jean de Saintré: A Late Medieval Education in Love and Chivalry, trans. Roberta L. Krueger and Jane H. M. Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). xxv + 235 pp.; 6 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN 978-0-8122-4586-8. $59.95. This lively, entertaining translation of Antoine de la Sale's Jean de Saintré - the first complete English translation since 1931 - is much to be welcomed. Written in 1456 and chronicling the life of an eponymous knight at the court of King John II - and his queen Bonne of Luxembourg, who in reality did not live to see her husband's coronation - Saintré is sometimes seen as the first modern novel. With its detailed descriptions of clothing, conversational banter, pageantry, the economics of chivalric advancement, and knightly combat, both ceremonial and on the battlefield, the text offers a fascinating insight into late medieval court life and the chivalric identity. Moreover, with its tale of amorous intrigue, deal-making, and ultimate betrayal, it provides a vision of 'courtly love' that is by turns idealized, parodied, and exposed as fragile and self-serving. …

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