The Roman de toute chevalerie: Reading Alexander Romance in Late Medieval England
The medieval reception of Alexander the Great inspired a complicated literary corpus not simply because it involved so many source-texts and languages, but because it incorporated such diverse perspectives on the conqueror. Beginning with a discussion of the evolution of this corpus, this book examines the manuscripts, readership, and historical contexts of the earliest surviving Alexander romance in England, Thomas de Kent’s Anglo-Norman Roman de toute chevalerie.
To shed light on the origins and treatment of this romance, Charles Russell Stone reads each manuscript within the contexts of its production, scribal interpolations, and patronage and readership in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. While Thomas recalls a range of attitudes towards his protagonist in the late twelfth century, when the recovery of classical histories and composition of vernacular romance informed conflicting attitudes towards Alexander’s legacy, scribes and readers of his poem appropriated it as a continuing commentary on power, politics, and the relevance of the Alexander legend in their own time. Each of the three major manuscripts of Thomas’s poem thus offers a unique text informed by unique literary and political contexts, which this book situates within the ongoing debate over Alexander’s reception as a paradigm of imperial authority or failure in late medieval England.
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 272 pages
- Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.2in
"In its thorough account of medieval England’s reception of the Alexander legend, Stone’s The Roman de toute chevalerie traces the tale across a great variety of adaptations, commentaries, interpolations and translations from the twelfth century onward, in Latin, French, and English."
Laura Ashe, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
Author InformationCharles Russell Stone is an assistant Vice Provost at the University of Nevada.
Table of contents1. Alexander Romance in Twelfth-Century Europe
2. Alexander in Anglo-Norman England: History
3. Alexander in Anglo-Norman England: Romance
4. Genre and Authorial Agenda
5. The Two Deaths of Alexander in Cambridge, Trinity College MS O.9.34
6. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale MS 24364: Alexander, Chivalry and the Wars of Edward I
7. From Anglo-Norman to Middle English Alexander Romance
8. Moralizing Alexander in Durham Cathedral Library MS C.IV.27B
Afterword: The Advent of the Continental Alexander, The Last Reader of the Roman de toute chevalerie
Subjects and Courses