Boeve de Haumtone and Gui de Warewic: Two Anglo-Norman Romances

French of England Translation Series (FRETS), Vol. 3

Boeve de Haumtone and Gui de Warewic: Two Anglo-Norman Romances

Translated by Judith Weiss (Robinson College Cambridge )
2008 | 264 + xvi pp. | 1 ills. | 978-0-86698-378-5 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 332 | $45 | £28 |

The Anglo-Norman romances of Boeve de Haumtone and Gui de Warewic are the first appearances of stories that became exceptionally popular throughout Europe: versions were written in many languages, including of course Middle English, and were still entertaining adults and children alike up to the nineteenth century. They were written for the post-Conquest, French-speaking nobility, who were interested in the “history” of their adopted country. The heroes of these romances are not only inserted into early English history but fight contemporary foes, the “Saracens” of the Middle East and North Africa. Energetic defenders of Christianity and vital props to inadequate rulers, they end their lives in very different ways, Boeve settling down in his North African kingdom and Gui dying as a hermit and proto-saint close to home.

Reviews

"… a welcome contribution, these entertaining and influential verse romances had not been available in Modern English. … Weiss's Introduction covers all the bases and helpfully indicates paths for further study. The prose translations are generally painstakingly faithful to the source-editions, but they are also a pleasure to read … one is continually impressed by Weiss's good judgment and attention to detail… . Perhaps [her] engaging Boeve and rip-roaring Gui will … join forces to refresh the reading lists of medieval studies courses far and wide." Encomia