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Early Prose in France
Contexts of Bilingualism and Authority

By Jeanette Beer

Early Prose in France
Hardback, 170 pages £62.00
Published: 1992
ISBN: 9781879288126
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Subjects: Literary Studies, Medieval Institute Publications, Medieval Studies
Series: Research in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, Research in Medieval Culture

It is fast becoming dogma that French prose emerged out of poetry by a process of deversification in the thirteenth century. Since the earliest extant example of written French prose dates back to the eighth century, this premise cannot be taken at face value. Prose had been the medium of the clercs for many centuries before the thirteenth. It had been honed by constant use to all manner of functions whether legal, diplomatic, epistolary, or edificatory (to name only those exemplified in this study). Early Prose in France is above all a reevaluation, an attempt to call into question the assumption that deversification could have been responsible for the emergence of such lengthy prose works as the crusading chronicles and the encyclopedic translations of the early thirteenth century. In this volume Beer demonstrates the sophisticated stylistic propensities of Early French prose, an effort long needed that does a great service to all French literary scholars.

Introduction The Strasbourg Oaths The Jonah Fragment Land-Grants, Petitions, and Ordinances Letters in the Vernacular Villehardouin's La Conquete de Constantinople Conclusion A Selective Bibliography

Jeanette Beer was a professor of French at Purdue University and associate editor of Purdue Studies in Romantic Literature and is professor emerita at Oxford University.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 170 pages

BIC Code:
 Medieval Institute Publications


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Jeanette Beer

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