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The Lais of Marie de France by Marie de…

The Lais of Marie de France

by Marie de France

Other authors: Robert Hanning (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,513134,889 (3.88)32
  1. 00
    Medieval romance: themes and approaches (English literature) by John E. Stevens (waltzmn)
  2. 01
    The Origins of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi by Andrew Breeze (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: The Lais are known to be by a French woman writing in England in the 12th century, while The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, written in Welsh, were probably by a 12th-century woman (as the study argues); both are narratives of great beauty and power.

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» See also 32 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Marie de France... a woman writer 14th c. -- an automatic must read, and well worth it. Short stories about knights and ladies, evil queens and knavery, originally in a poetic format, easily as entertaining as Bocaccio's Decameron. Fun to read and to re-read. ( )
  grheault | Jan 30, 2014 |
If you like fairy tales or weird pomo fiction, read this book. Neither pomo nor fairy tales, the Lais of Marie de France will satisfy you, especially if you are me. I'm going to read all of her works, I've decided. Marie is tons of fun. ( )
1 vote veranasi | Jan 17, 2014 |
I studied Guigemar and Bisclavret, and I ended up wanting to read the rest of Marie de France's lais. Bisclavret is one of my favourites, really, possibly due to reading William Burgwinkle's criticism of it and being amused to see it as a gay love story. Most of the lais are short and very easy to read, dwelling on knights and their lovers. I quite liked Lanval, as well, the Arthurian lai. Some of them have little morals in them, some of them are just sweet little stories (or sometimes rather bitter little stories, like Yonec, in which the lady's beloved dies!). I like the translation, even if it's put into prose instead of the original verse: it's easy to read and captures the air of storytelling. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
I liked it enough to keep it.
  JessieP73 | Apr 6, 2013 |
Marie de France is one of the earliest known female authors, though we know little about her beyond her name, that she wrote in French and was evidently of French origin, and that she spent part of her life in England. To that extent, I found myself interested by these stories, and from a historical perspective there's a lot here. But my problem with the stories—and the reason why I'm a socio-economic historian and not a scholar of literature—is that they reflect such different sensibilities from mine that I find it extremely difficult to relate to the characters or to understand their actions. Marie does a better job than most medieval authors at making her characters something more than mere ciphers whose primary task is to communicate a moral lesson, but there was still more than one occasion where I found myself completely unable to believe that someone would (re)act in the way they did here. There's a lot of telling, not showing, and I find that difficult to relate to. (I read the edition translated by Robert Hanning and Joan Ferrante, which is a model of clarity; good explanatory notes.) ( )
  siriaeve | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (57 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marie de Franceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hanning, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angeli, GiovannaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barett, AngelaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, AngelaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busby, KeithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busby, KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrante, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harf-Lancner, LaurenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, NaomiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slavitt, David R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warnke, KarlEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ki Deus ad duné escïence /
E de parler bon eloquence /
Ne s'en deit taisir ne celer, /
Ainz se deit volunters mustrer.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447598, Paperback)

Marie de France (fl. late twelfth century) is the earliest known French woman poet and her lais - stories in verse based on Breton tales of chivalry and romance - are among the finest of the genre. Recounting the trials and tribulations of lovers, the lais inhabit a powerfully realized world where very real human protagonists act out their lives against fairy-tale elements of magical beings, potions and beasts. "De France" takes a subtle and complex view of courtly love, whether telling the story of the knight who betrays his fairy mistress or describing the noblewoman who embroiders her sad tale on the shroud for a nightingale killed by a jealous and suspicious husband.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:04 -0400)

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