Nine Medieval Romances of Magic: Re-rhymed in Modern English (Paperback)
  • Nine Medieval Romances of Magic: Re-rhymed in Modern English (Paperback)
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Nine Medieval Romances of Magic: Re-rhymed in Modern English (Paperback)

(author)
£26.95
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 30/09/2010
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These new modern-English versions of medieval romances with magical themes bring the stories to life for modern readers. This book translates in modern English nine lively medieval verse romances, in a form that both reflects the original and makes them inviting to a modern audience. All nine tales contain elements of magic: shapeshifters, powerful fairies, trees that are portals to another world, magical armor, clothing, and animals. The romances address sexuality, agency, and identity-formation in unexpected ways. Part I begins with two versions of the story of a 'Loathly Lady' or shapeshifting hag that transforms into a beautiful woman: John Gower's ""Tale of Florent"" and Geoffrey Chaucer's ""Wife of Bath's Tale"". Three tales of fairy abductions follow: ""Thomas of Erceldoune"", ""The Ballad of Tam Lin"", and ""Sir Orfeo"". The final story in this group is Sir Launfal, about a destitute knight adopted by a fairy mistress. Part II contains four romances: ""Chaucer's parodic Sir Thopas"", in which the knight seeks a fairy mistress and arms to fight her guardian; ""Sir Gowther"", a tale that begins with a demonic birth and fairy abduction; ""Emare"", a Castaway Queen romance about a lady clothed in a magical love-cloth made by a Saracen princess; and, ""Floris and Blancheflour"", in which the girl Blancheflour is sold into Saracen slavery and her beloved Floris goes to rescue her.

Publisher: Broadview Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781551119977
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"The fairy legends of medieval Britain are at the very heart of romance: lightly touched, shimmering with suggestion, as hard to catch in their rhythmic dance as the elves glimpsed at twilight. They deal with otherworld lovers, enchanted hags, magic trees and magic animals, strange abductions and bold rescues. Yet they have never been well-known except to scholars, for the Middle English and Scots in which they are written is difficult enough to keep readers at bay, and in prose translation they lose much of their charm. Marijane Osborn's rendition of nine of the best of them into modern English verse saves the situation, and opens the poems up to the wider audience they deserve. Her poetry pulses with life, like the originals, and her introductions to each poem set the originals in context with impeccable scholarship." - Thomas Shippey, Professor Emeritus, Saint Louis University


"With characteristic erudition, wit, and grace, Professor Osborn both contextualizes and makes accessible one familiar and eight previously remote and seldom-read medieval romances. Even Chaucer's Herry Bailey will find no 'drasty rymyng' here. Instead, readers will be pleased to make the acquaintance of John Gower and Thomas Chestre as well as the five anonymous authors presented so well in these pages." - Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University


"The fairy legends of medieval Britain are at the very heart of romance: lightly touched, shimmering with suggestion, as hard to catch in their rhythmic dance as the elves glimpsed at twilight. They deal with otherworld lovers, enchanted hags, magic trees and magic animals, strange abductions and bold rescues. Yet they have never been well-known except to scholars, for the Middle English and Scots in which they are written is difficult enough to keep readers at bay, and in prose translation they lose much of their charm. Marijane Osborn's rendition of nine of the best of them into modern English verse saves the situation, and opens the poems up to the wider audience they deserve. Her poetry pulses with life, like the originals, and her introductions to each poem set the originals in context with impeccable scholarship." -- Thomas Shippey, Professor Emeritus, Saint Louis University


"With characteristic erudition, wit, and grace, Professor Osborn both contextualizes and makes accessible one familiar and eight previously remote and seldom-read medieval romances. Even Chaucer's Herry Bailey will find no 'drasty rymyng' here. Instead, readers will be pleased to make the acquaintance of John Gower and Thomas Chestre as well as the five anonymous authors presented so well in these pages." -- Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University


"The fairy legends of medieval Britain are at the very heart of romance: lightly touched, shimmering with suggestion, as hard to catch in their rhythmic dance as the elves glimpsed at twilight. They deal with otherworld lovers, enchanted hags, magic trees and magic animals, strange abductions and bold rescues. Yet they have never been well-known except to scholars, for the Middle English and Scots in which they are written is difficult enough to keep readers at bay, and in prose translation they lose much of their charm. Marijane Osborn's rendition of nine of the best of them into modern English verse saves the situation, and opens the poems up to the wider audience they deserve. Her poetry pulses with life, like the originals, and her introductions to each poem set the originals in context with impeccable scholarship." -- Thomas Shippey, Professor Emeritus, Saint Louis University


"With characteristic erudition, wit, and grace, Professor Osborn both contextualizes and makes accessible one familiar and eight previously remote and seldom-read medieval romances. Even Chaucer's Herry Bailey will find no 'drasty rymyng' here. Instead, readers will be pleased to make the acquaintance of John Gower and Thomas Chestre as well as the five anonymous authors presented so well in these pages." -- Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University

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