French of England Translation Series (FRETS), Vol. 4

The Birth of Romance in England: The Romance of Horn; The Folie Tristan; The Lai of Haveloc and Amis and Amilun: Four Twelfth-Century Romances in the French of England

Translated by Judith Weiss (Robinson College Cambridge)
2009 | 207 + xiv pp. | Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 978-0-86698-392-1 | MRTS 344
$45 | £28

These four 12th-century Anglo-Norman romances, here translated into English for the first time, were written to entertain the families of those barons who accompanied William the Conqueror to Britain and who soon developed an interest in the legends of their adopted land. The poets they patronized created lively narratives linked to British history, topography, and folklore. The hero of the Romance of Horn, a sophisticated romance and the earliest to be written in Britain, is wrongly dispossessed and exiled, but defeats his Saracen enemies and returns in triumph to claim his inheritance. Similarly disinherited, the hero of the Lai of Haveloc is a Danish prince who eventually rules both England and Denmark. Cornwall is the setting for the Folie Tristan, a story of Tristan feigning madness in order to visit his lover, Iseut. Amis e Amilun celebrates two identical friends who exploit their resemblance to extricate themselves from tricky situations but have to pay the price.

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FRETS Series Editors: Thelma Fenster and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne