The lay was a flourishing genre in the French courts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, related to romance rather as the modern short story is to the novel. Its most famous exponent is arguably Marie de France, but in addition to her twelve lays, a number of others, mainly anonymous, have also come down to us, usually referred to as Breton lays or simply as narrative lays.
The eleven anonymous lays presented in this volume show the varied nature of the genre. First brought together as a collection by Prudence Tobin in 1976, they have been freshly edited from the manuscript sources. They are presented here with facing English translation, together with substantial introductions for each lay, which deal principally with thematic issues and questions of general literary interest.
GLYN S. BURGESS is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Liverpool.
LESLIE C. BROOK is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in French at the University of Birmingham.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd ISBN: 9781843841180 Number of pages: 536 Weight: 939 g Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 44 mm
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