La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame
A Critical Edition and English Translation of Two Anonymous Late-Medieval French Amorous Debate Poems

Edited by Joan Grenier-Winther

Critical Texts 60

Modern Humanities Research Association

28 September 2018  •  172pp

ISBN: 978-1-781882-85-6 (paperback)  •  RRP £14.99, $19.99, €17.99

Sample: Google Books  •  Access online: Books@JSTOR

MedievalFrenchPoetry


La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame are two late-medieval poems in which a courtly gentleman and lady debate the merits of his pleas for her affections. In both cases, the lady is recalcitrant, dismissing her suitor's lovesickness as a trifle, denying that she ever gave any sign of encouragement, and wishing to protect her reputation. The lady in Le Dialogue never capitulates; in contrast, the Belle Dame ends by agreeing to her lover's suit and imagining a future in which they will joyfully live together.

Both poems merit serious attention for their kinship with Alain Chartier's La Belle Dame sans mercy (1424) and other poems in the so-called 'Belle Dame' cycle. Their presence in numerous fifteenth- and sixteenth-century manuscript and printed collections attests to their appeal in their day. Equally as significant is their unusual bipartite stanzaïc structure, suggesting amalgamation of separate poems and/or continuations of existing poems. Such an anomaly complicates attribution of authorship and dating, but close study of La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame can only enhance our understanding of the process(es) of poetic composition, as well as the mise en pageand reception of literary works, in the late Middle Ages.

Reviews:

  • ‘The poems themselves are presented with facing-page translations, in clear and idiomatic English, making this edition eminently useful for scholars and students alike.’ — unsigned notice, Medium Aevum 88, 2019, 184
  • ‘This volume is a welcome addition to studies of fifteenth-century French poetry, especially within the context of the Quarrel of the Belle dame sans mercy.’ — Joan E. McRae, Modern Language Review 115.1, 2020, 178-79 (full text online)
  • ‘Joan Grenier-Winther has provided a welcome new bilingual scholarly edition of two important poems (each about four hundred lines) out of around twenty love poems long recognized as ‘the cycle of the Belle Dame sans mercy’... Scholarship is served by the excellent Introduction, comprehensive list of variant readings, description of all manuscripts and early books up to 1617, and an extensive bibliography with separate categories for other editions, critical studies, and manuscript studies.’ — Linda Burke, French Studies 74.1, January 2020, 107-08 (full text online)

Contents:

vii-viii
Acknowledgements
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.3
Cite
ix-lxxii
Introduction
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.4
Cite
1-26
La Belle Dame Qui Eust Mercy (the Beautiful Lady Who Had Mercy) Based On Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Ms F. Fr. 1131 (pc)
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.5
Cite
27-53
Le Dialogue d’amoureux et de sa dame (The Dialogue between a Lover and his Lady) Based on Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS f. fr. 1131 (Pc)
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.6
Cite
54-77
Variant Readings
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.7
Cite
78-92
Tables
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.8
Cite
93-100
Glossary
Joan Grenier-Winther
doi:10.2307/j.ctv69tg0x.9
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Bibliography entry:

Grenier-Winther, Joan (ed.), La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame: A Critical Edition and English Translation of Two Anonymous Late-Medieval French Amorous Debate Poems, Critical Texts, 60 (MHRA, 2018)

First footnote reference: 35 La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame: A Critical Edition and English Translation of Two Anonymous Late-Medieval French Amorous Debate Poems, ed. by Joan Grenier-Winther, Critical Texts, 60 (MHRA, 2018), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Grenier-Winther, p. 47.

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

Bibliography entry:

Grenier-Winther, Joan (ed.). 2018. La Belle Dame qui eust mercy and Le Dialogue d'amoureux et de sa dame: A Critical Edition and English Translation of Two Anonymous Late-Medieval French Amorous Debate Poems, Critical Texts, 60 (MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Grenier-Winther 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Grenier-Winther 2018: 21.

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


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