An Old French Trilogy: Texts from the William of Orange Cycle (Hardcover)
Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
While most English-language readers are familiar with Old French epic poetry, or chansons de geste, through the Song of Roland and its tale of gallant martyrdom, this volume provides a broader and richer view of the tradition by introducing songs devoted to the exploits of a different sort of hero--the brave and blustery William of Orange. An Old French Trilogy provides an updated English translation of three central poems from the twelfth-century Guillaume d'Orange cycle. In The Coronation of Louis, the hero saves both king and pope from would-be usurpers and earns the nickname "Short-Nosed William" after a fierce, disfiguring battle with a Saracen giant. In A Convoy to N mes and The Conquest of Orange, William conquers two important cities and wins the love of the Saracen Queen Orable. Tremendously popular in the Middle Ages, these works stand the test of time, and the accessible translations capture the sense of the original Old French decasyllabic verse without attempting to preserve or imitate its formal properties. The introduction to the volume discusses literary devices and motifs; historical context; issues of religious conflict, otherness, and gender roles; and themes such as loyalty and courage.