'Le Roman des Eles', and the Anonymous: 'Ordene de Chevalerie'
Two Early Old French Didactic Poems. Critical Editions with Introduction, Notes, Glossary and Translations, by Keith Busby
Scholars and students working on the early courtly and chivalric literature of medieval Europe will have often felt the need for contemporary theoretical material with which to illustrate their arguments about courtesy and chivalry in romances, etc. The present volume, which presents critical editions of the two earliest didactic poems of this kind in the vernacular (both date from the first quarter of the thirteenth century), was conceived partly to fill this need. This book will be of interest not only to specialists in Old French literature, but also to those studying other literatures; both texts are known to have circulated in England in the fourteenth century and are therefore of importance for anglicists; L’Ordene de Chevalerie was adapted into Middle Dutch and Italian several times and provides excellent material for comparatists, netherlandists and italianists; moreover, given the germinal place of Old French literature in the culture of the Middle Ages, both poems are worthy of study in the context of the evolution of the ideals of courtesy and chivalry as European literary phenomenon.
Each critical text is accompanied by an extensive literary introduction and philological apparatus, and translations into modern English prose have been appended to render the poems more accessible to non-romanists.