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Chronicles by Jean Froissart

Chronicles (edition 1978)

by Jean Froissart, Geoffrey Brereton

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699521,189 (3.73)18
Froissart was the first great war correspondent of the Middle Ages, covering much of the Hundred Years' War (1339-1453). These are selections from The Great Wars of England and France.
Authors:Jean Froissart
Other authors:Geoffrey Brereton
Info:Penguin Classics (1978), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, Someday (inactive)

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Froissart's Chronicles by Jean Froissart



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Showing 5 of 5
I read this version to stitch together all the other selections of the great extravaganza that I had encountered over the decades. Johnes is clearer than Berners, and this 1844 translation is readable, though a heavy book, It is somewhat illustrated in the style of its time, and printed in double columns. A good time, but the sheer size makes it research rather than a quiet read. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 31, 2014 |
This is my second review of this title because this is another translation. The volume here is " H. P. Dunster's condensation of the Thomas Johnes translation. For years it was my only copy, and though it has no pictures, and doesn't have everything, and there's no footnotes, It's a pretty good selection. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 19, 2013 |
This is the most modern of the selections of Froissart that I have read, and Mr. Brereton has made a serious effort to present at least one example of the vast range of topics covered by the work. I can read this as a historical novel, or as a serious source, though academic historians really prefer almost any other source for making serious points. It's a good read, but the Thomas Johnes translatin, though much longer gives a good flavour of the piece. I tried the Lord Berners translation from the 1530's but the writing is flatter than Malory, and the spelling has not been regularized as the Penguin Malory is. But for wandering in a medieval experience, muttering out the words one by one, the Berners is wonderful. This Penguin selection is the best way into Froissart, and if you go on to the longer translations you'll be grateful you stared with this one. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 7, 2013 |
History, more or less true, of England, Scotland, France, Britanny, Spain and the Low Countries.
  TrysB | Jul 6, 2012 |
This penguin classic edition was translated by Geoffrey Brereton and contains selections from the four books of chronicles written in the 14th century by Jean Froissart, who was at various times attached to the courts of Edward III, Richard II, and the Count of Foix. The chronicles were contemporaneous documents that recorded some of the major events of 14th century France and England. Froissart was writing for the educated classes of his time and so his accounts of events had to be realistic. They are in fact more than that as he has his own inimitable style that makes his narratives flow and the events described come alive on the page. He has been described as a forerunner of modern day journalists and I can certainly see why people hold this view.

His narrative accounts of the battles of Poitiers, Crecy, the siege of Calais and the peasants revolt of 1381 have been used extensively by modern day historians. In Froissart's hands they give a real feel for the age in which he was writing. There is plenty of information about how people lived and how they reacted. When he writes more provincially when he was attached to the Count of Foix we get some marvellous medieval tales of haunting, shape changing and sorcery. There is much here for the modern reader, I was enthralled by the descriptions of tournaments, coronations and marriages. His descriptions of the battlefield are at times frighteningly realistic and shot through with medieval lore

I learned much about the period from this book, but at the same time it is very entertaining. Froissart says that the French had come to the battlefield of Poitiers "splendidly provided like men who felt certain in advance of victory. They were routed and there was gold, silver plate, precious jewels, ornamental chests, and splendid cloaks pilfered from the aftermath. At other times the reader is hurled back into the realms of the 14th century when in a narrative description of Edward II's attempted escape from his pursuers we get Froissart saying

"Their plan was to escape to Wales.... but their sins weighed so heavily against them that God would not permit it."

We are told this about one of the brigand leaders that roamed France when King John was a prisoner in England

"This Sir Eustace performed many fine feats of arms and no one could stand up to him, for he was young and deeply in love and full of enterprise."

The English doctor who nursed King Charles VI back from an attack of "madness" goes back to England with a substantial reward but Friossart says of him:

"His only pleasure in life had been to amass great piles of florins. There were days when he hardly spent a penny of his own, but went round getting free meals and drinks wherever he could. All doctors suffer from such weaknesses" ( )
1 vote baswood | Feb 13, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (99 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Froissartprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jolliffe, JohnTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berners, John LordTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brereton, Geoffrey (editor)Translator and Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emerson, JeanCartographysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macaulay, G. C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhys, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Therefore, to discharge my debt to all, I have undertaken the writing of this history according to the method and foundation already mentioned, at the request of one of my dear patrons and masters, Robert of Namur, Lord of Beaufort, towards whom I gladly acknowledge my affection and allegiance. And may God assist me to write a work which will please him.
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Froissart, sometimes loosely described as the historian of the Hundred Years War (he was both more and less than that), was one of the greatest of the medieval European writers.

Introduction, Penguin Classics ed., 1968.
In order that the honourable enterprises, noble adventures and deeds of arms which took place during the wars waged by France and England should be fittingly related and preserved for posterity, so that brave men should be inspired thereby to follow such examples, I wish to place on record these matters of great renown.

Prologue, Penguin Classics ed., 1968.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Penguin Classics edition (ISBN 0140442006) is "a selection covering less than one-sixth of the total length of the Chronicles" (Introduction p. 27).

Then it should be separated from this work, no? Because these are complete of completish editions of Froissart's Chronicles. Perhaps 0140442006 should be combined with the other Penguin edition? -- roughly the same page length and I think the same translator? -- 0141390247
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