The University of Wisconsin Press

Medieval Studies / Literature and Criticism / French

The Art of Medieval French Romance
Douglas Kelly

“An authoritative, extraordinarily impressive, even monumental piece of work. It will immediately establish itself as the major, indispensable work on the subject of medieval French romance.”
—Norris Lacy, Washington University

Douglas Kelly provides a comprehensive and historically valid analysis of the art of medieval French romance as the romancers themselves describe it. He focuses on well-known writers, such as Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, and also draws on a wide range of other sources—prose romances, non-Arthurian romances, thirteenth-century verse romances, and variant versions from the later Middle Ages.

Kelly is the first scholar to present the “art” of medieval romance to a modern audience through the interventions and comments of medieval writers themselves. The book begins by examining the difficulties scholars perceive in medieval literature: problems such as source and intertextuality, structure in its manifold modern meanings, and character psychology and individuality. These issues frame Kelly’s identification and discussion of all the known authorial interventions on the art and craft of romance. Kelly’s careful reconstruction of the “art” of romance, based on the records left by the romancers themselves, will be an invaluable resource and guide for all medievalists.

Douglas Kelly
is the Julian E. Harris Professor of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Previous Wisconsin book: Medieval Imagination: Rhetoric and the Poetry of Courtly Love.

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April 1992

LC: 91-032465 PQ
480 pp.   6 x 9


ISBN 978-0-299-13190-6
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