A second flowering of the Old French lais

Beston, John (2013) A second flowering of the Old French lais. Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, 60 2: 67-77. doi:10.1179/jli.2013.60.2.01

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Author Beston, John
Title A second flowering of the Old French lais
Journal name Journal of Language, Literature and Culture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2051-2856
Publication date 2013-08
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1179/jli.2013.60.2.01
Open Access Status
Volume 60
Issue 2
Start page 67
End page 77
Total pages 11
Place of publication Leeds, W Yorks, United Kingdom
Publisher Maney
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The late Old French Lai de l’Ombre, Lai du Conseil, and Lai d’Amours represent a second flowering of the lais, very different from the first flowering under Marie de France in the last third of the twelfth century. Marie’s early successors were on the whole imitative of her, but these three late lais, written probably in the second decade of the thirteenth century, attained a second flowering of their own. They had relinquished the Breton material of the earlier lais, and did not concern themselves with men experiencing aventures. Instead, they interested themselves in the portrayal of women, especially women as the ones who controlled sexual relationships. They stand apart from the lais of their time in embracing the concept of love as essential to happiness and emotional fulfilment. Other lais around their time do not treat love so positively—some show it as primarily sexual desire, some show it as abortive or inappropriate, and some do not mention it at all. These three late lais briefly revitalized the genre in terms of their positive attitude to love, their originality, and their sophistication.
Keyword Medieval literature
Old French lais
Marie de France
Thirteenth century
Prominence of women
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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