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News Update - July

14 July 2018

Work continues on the major project of translating Chrétien de Troyes' five courtly tales, namely Érec et Énide, Cligès, Yvain or the Knight of the Lion, Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart, and the (unfinished?) Perceval. Written in the Old French of the late 12th Century, these long poems are surprisingly sophisticated, and give a detailed picture of courtly and chivalric life, especially that of the court of Marie of France, with which the author was familiar, and for which the legendary Arthurian court provides an analogue.

Prose translations of Arthurian works tend to produce quite dull reading, and certainly do not give the full flavour of these delightful French tales of love and chivalry, so despite the difficulties of rhyming his eight-syllable couplets in modern English I have decided to translate the extensive tales in accord with his original rhyme scheme.

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