The Multilingual Muse
Transcultural Poetics in the Burgundian Netherlands

Edited by Adrian Armstrong and Elsa Strietman

Legenda (General Series)


1 November 2017  •  204pp

ISBN: 978-1-781885-49-9 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781885-50-5 (paperback, 9 August 2019)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781885-51-2 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR


In addition to its original library hardback edition, this title is now on sale in the new student-priced Legenda paperback range.

In the late Middle Ages, the Low Countries — ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy and their Hapsburg successors — boasted a dynamic literary culture in both French and Dutch. Speakers of these languages interacted in more ways than might be expected. Writers shared topics and techniques; works were translated; printers who spoke one language published material in the other. The Multilingual Muse brings together an unprecedented community of scholars, both historians and literary specialists, to chart these interactions. It reveals that poetry, far from resisting linguistic and cultural translation as is widely supposed, was a deeply transcultural enterprise in the region.

Adrian Armstrong is Centenary Professor of French at Queen Mary University of London. Elsa Strietman is a Fellow Emerita of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge and was Senior Lecturer in Dutch, University of Cambridge.


  • ‘This forward-thinking collection is part of an emerging and significant trend towards analysing medieval literature in the multilingual context in which it was written... this collection has a much wider significance beyond this geographical setting insofar as it provides a splendid model for future research into the multilingualism of medieval literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.2, April 2019, 247-48 (full text online)
  • ‘Through the viewpoint of transcultural exchange, and by giving voice to cases in their contemporary contexts, the editors successfully present an enriching new picture of multilingualism in the fifteenth-century Low Countries.’ — Bram Caers, French Studies 73.2, April 2019, 284-85 (full text online)
  • ‘Largely refuses clichés and tired assumptions about translation and other interlingual-literary engagements, preferring instead to turn new ground for specific analyses of less obvious intertextual, interdiscursive, and intermedial contacts. Armstrong and Strietman have gathered a fine collection that puts on display the richly provocative multilingualism of the early modern Low Countries. Anyone interested in early modern literary culture will be delighted by the insights and methods of these fine essays.’ — Anne E. B. Coldiron, Early Modern Low Countries 3.1, 2019, 145–148 (full text online)
  • ‘This essay collection offers an excellent point of entry for reflection and further research on the impressive literature of the Low Countries under the dukes of Burgundy, and shows how the multilingualism and multiculturalism of the region energized and enriched its poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Medium Aevum 88, 2019, 191-92
  • ‘The Multilingual Muse est un ouvrage important qu’il faut saluer. En effet, il éclaire dans le détail la manière dont se forme culturellement, socio-économiquement et même politiquement--malgré notre remarque ci-dessus--un espace commun bilingue au 15e siècle et au début du 16e siècle. Nombre d’enseignements sont à retenir pour l’ du politique : la nécessité de repenser les modèles de diffusion culturelle et donc idéologique « top-down » pour privilégier des processus en réseaux interpénétrés, et surtout abandonner cette idée issue du 19e siècle, et pourtant encore bien présente chez nombre de collègues, que l’État dynastique tardo-médiéval et renaissant se construirait nécessairement par l’unification linguistique. L’exemple de la mosaïque étatique bourguignonne dément tout à fait ce postulat.’ — Jonathan Dumont, H-France 19, November 2019, 220
  • ‘This is an exciting volume which sheds important light on multilingualism in the world of the Burgundian Netherlands during the late Middle Ages.’ — Albrecht Classen, Mediaevistik 31, 2018, 465-67


The Multilingual Muse: The Multilingual Muse
Adrian Armstrong, Elsa Strietman
Table of Contents
Adrian Armstrong, Elsa Strietman
A.A., E.S.
Notes On the Contributors
Adrian Armstrong, Elsa Strietman
Adrian Armstrong
Chapter 1 ‘Frenchified’: A Contact-Based Approach To Transculturation and Linguistic Change in Holland-Zeeland (1428/33–c. 1500)
Dirk Schoenaers
Chapter 2 ‘Gescryfte Met Letteren Na Elcxs Geval Gegraueert En Oic Dyveerssche Ymagyen’: Uses of Code-Switching in Dutch and French
Catherine Emerson
Chapter 3 Printing in French in the Low Countries in the Early Sixteenth Century: Patterns and Networks
Malcolm Walsby
Chapter 4 Rhetorical Encounters: Puys, Chambers of Rhetoric, and the Urban Literary Culture of the Burgundian Low Countries and Northern France
Anne-Laure Van Bruaene
Chapter 5 Target Languages: Multilingual Communication in Poetic Descriptions of Crossbow Competitions
Laura Crombie
Chapter 6 Wrapped in Rhetoric: the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles and Dutch Rederijker Literature
Dirk Coigneau
Chapter 7 Cross-Cultural Intersections in the Middle Dutch Translations of Le Chevalier Délibéré By Olivier De La Marche
Susie Speakman Sutch
Chapter 8 the Blind Leading the Blind? Choreographing the Transcultural in Pierre Michault’s La Dance Aux Aveugles and Gheraert Leeu’s Van Den Drie Blinde Danssen
Rebecca Dixon
Adrian Armstrong, Elsa Strietman
Adrian Armstrong, Elsa Strietman

Bibliography entry:

Armstrong, Adrian, and Elsa Strietman (eds), The Multilingual Muse: Transcultural Poetics in the Burgundian Netherlands (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017)

First footnote reference: 35 The Multilingual Muse: Transcultural Poetics in the Burgundian Netherlands, ed. by Adrian Armstrong and Elsa Strietman (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Armstrong and Strietman, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Armstrong, Adrian, and Elsa Strietman (eds). 2017. The Multilingual Muse: Transcultural Poetics in the Burgundian Netherlands (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Armstrong and Strietman 2017: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Armstrong and Strietman 2017: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.

Permanent link to this title: