Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, c.1100-c.1500

Edited by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne with co-editors Carolyn Collette, Maryanne Kowaleski, Linne Mooney, Ad Putter and David Trotter

Publication Information

England was more widely and enduringly francophone in the Middle Ages than many standard accounts allow. French in England, whether known as ‘Anglo-Norman’ or ‘Anglo-French,’ is deeply interwoven in its continuing development both with medieval English and with the spectrum of Frenches, insular and continental, used within and outside the realm. As the language of nearly a thousand literary texts, of much administration and of many professions and occupations, the French of England needs more attention than it has yet been given. The essays in this volume begin a new cultural history focused around, but not confined to, the presence and interactions of French speakers, writers, readers, texts and documents in England from the late eleventh to the fifteenth century. Taking the French of England into account does not simply add new material to our existing narratives of medieval English culture, but changes them, restoring a multi-vocal, multi-cultural England in all its complexity, and opening up fresh agendas for study and exploration.

Contributors: H. Bainton, M. J. Bennett, J. Boffey, R. M. Britnell, C. Collette, G. Croenen, H. Deeming, S. Downes, M. Driver, M. H. Green, R. Ingham, R. June, M. Kowaleski, P. Kunstmann, F. H. M. Le Saux, S. Lusignan, T. W. Machan, J. Marvin, B. Merrilees, R. Nisse, M. Oliva, W. M. Ormrod, H. Pagan, L. Postlewate, J.-P. Pouzet, A. Putter, G. Rector, D. W. Russell, T.Summerfield, A. Taylor, D. A. Trotter, E. M. Tyler, N. Watson, J. Wogan-Browne, R. F. Yeager.

20 b/w, 1 line illus.; 560pp, 23.4 x 15.6cm, 978 1 90315 327 7, October 2009, £50.00/$95.00

Boydell and Brewer have released a paperback version now available. Enquiries to Boydell and Brewer:


General Introduction What’s in a Name: the “French” of “England”
Jocelyn Wogan-Browne 1
Section I Language and Socio-Linguistics
Introduction 17
1 French Language in Contact with English: Social Context and Linguistic Change (mid-13th-14th centuries)
Serge Lusignan 19
2 The Language of Complaint: Multilingualism and Petitioning in Later Medieval England
W. Mark Ormrod 31
3 The Persistence of Anglo-Norman 1230-1362: A Linguistic Perspective
Richard Ingham 44
4 Syntaxe anglo-normande: étude de certaines caractéristiques du XIIe au XIVe siècle
Pierre Kunstmann (with English summary) 55
5 “‘Fi a debles,’ quath the king”: Language Mixing in England’s Vernacular Historical Narratives, c.1290-c.1340
Thea Summerfield 68
6 Uses of French Language in Medieval English Towns
Richard Britnell 81
7 The French of England in Female Convents: The French Kitcheners’ Accounts of Campsey Ash Priory
Marilyn Oliva 90
8 The French of England: A Maritime linguafranca?
Maryanne Kowaleski 103
9 John Barton, John Gower and Others: Variation in Late Anglo-French
Brian Merrilees and Heather Pagan 118
10 John Gower’s French and His Readers
R. F. Yeager 135
Section II Crossing the Conquest: New Linguistic and Literary Histories
Introduction 149
11 “Stuffed Latin”: Vernacular Evidence in Latin Documents
David Trotter 153
12 From Old English to Old French
Elizabeth M. Tyler 164
13 Translating the “English” Past: Cultural Identity in the Estoire des Engleis
Henry Bainton 179
14 The Languages of England: Multilingualism in the Work of Wace
Françoise H. M. Le Saux 188
15 An Illustrious Vernacular: The Psalter en romanz in Twelfth-Century England
Geoff Rector 198
16 Serpent’s Head/Jew’s Hand: Le Jeu d’Adam and Christian-Jewish Debate in Norman England
Ruth Nisse 207
17 Salerno on the Thames: The Genesis of Anglo-Norman Medical Literature
Monica H. Green 220
Section III After Lateran IV: rancophone Devotions and Histories
Introduction 235
18 “Cest livre liseez . . . chescun jour”: Women and Reading c.1230-c.1430
Jocelyn Wogan-Browne 239
19 French Devotional Texts in Thirteenth-Century Preachers’ Anthologies
Helen Deeming 254
20 Augustinian Canons and their Insular French Books in Medieval England: Towards an Assessment
Jean-Pascal Pouzet 266
21 Eschuer peché, embracer bountee: Social Thought and Pastoral Instruction in Nicole Bozon
Laurie Postlewate 278
22 The Cultural Context of the French Prose remaniement of the Life of Edward the Confessor by a Nun of Barking Abbey
Delbert W. Russell 290
23 The Vitality of Anglo-Norman in Late Medieval England: The Case of the Prose Brut Cronicle
Julia Marvin 303
24 France in England: Anglo-French Culture in the Reign of Edward III
Michael Bennett 320
25 Lollardy: The Anglo-Norman Heresy?
Nicholas Watson 334
26 The Languages of Memory: The Crabhouse Nunnery Manuscript
Rebecca June 347
Section IV England and French in the Late Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Introduction 361
27 French, English, and the Late Medieval Linguistic Repertoire
Tim William Machan 363
28 Aristotle, Translation and the Mean: Shaping the Vernacular in Late Medieval Anglo-French Culture
Carolyn Collette 373
29 Writing English in a French Penumbra: The Middle English ‘Tree of Love’ in MS Longleat 253
Julia Boffey 386
30 The French of English Letters: Two Trilingual Verse Epistles in Context
Ad Putter 397
31 The Reception of Froissart’s Writings in England: The Evidence of the Manuscripts
Godfried Croenen 409
32 ‘Me fault faire’: French Makers of Manuscripts for English Patrons
Martha Driver 420
33 The French Self-Presentation of an English Mastiff: John Talbot’s Book of Chivalry
Andrew Taylor 444
34 A ‘Frenche booke called the Pistill of Othea’: Christine de Pizan’s French in England
Stephanie Downes 457
Bibliography 469
Index of Medieval (and Select Early Modern) Texts 520
Index of Medieval (and Select EArly Modern) Authors 527
Index of Persons and Places 529


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