March 2017

A Lydgatian Christine de Pizan?: The Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod (c. 1450)

A Lydgatian Christine de Pizan?: The Lytle Bibell of Knyghthod (c. 1450) One would not expect that Christine de Pizan could be confused easily with John Lydgate, and yet the 1808 Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts identifies a work in British Library Harley MS 838 as “An old Peom [sic], upon Hector of Troy, with the Glose, & Moralite; perhaps by Lidgate.” About a century later (1909), Lydgate scholar and Troy Book editor Henry Noble MacCracken correctly identified the work as a Middle English translation of Christine’s Epistre Othea. James D. Gordon (1942) then edited the work and bestowed upon it the subtitle “A ‘Lytil...

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“Here follows her epitaph […] translated into the Scottish tongue”

“Here follows her epitaph […] translated into the Scottish tongue” Princess Margaret of Scotland (d. 1445) PART 2 As I observed in my previous post, the Older Scots Complaint for the death of Margaret, Princess of Scotland is a translation of a French complaint produced on the death of Princess Margaret (d. 1445), daughter of James I of Scotland and wife of the dauphin, Louis (later Louis XI): Complainte pour la mort de Madame Marguerite d’Escosse, daulphine de Viennoys. The latter poem comprises thirty-six stanzas, each of ten octosyllabic lines, and is divided into two halves. In the first half...

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“She was busy writing rondeaux […] which was not good for her”

“She was busy writing rondeaux […] which was not good for her” Princess Margaret of Scotland (d. 1445) PART 1 (and part 2) In our forthcoming METS edition, Six Scottish Pieces: Courtly and Chivalric Poems, Including Lyndsay’s ‘Squyer Meldrum’, Rhiannon Purdie (University of St Andrews) and I bring together six Older Scots poems that reflect on two of the most significant themes of Older Scots literature: Sovereignty — both of the nation and individual — and Good Governance — how best to rule the public realm and the private body of the self. Over the coming months we’ll write about...

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The Play’s the Thing

[caption id="attachment_11964" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brueghel's Children Games (1559), now at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna[/caption] In his painting, Children’s Games (1559), Flemish artist Peter Bruegel the Elder, famous for his works depicting the popular, ludic world of peasants, illustrated at least eighty different games that children played during the sixteenth century. Most of the games Bruegel portrayed in the picture involve toys and physical games, such as dice, knucklebones, dolls, marbles, balls, and hoops. However, many of the games depicted in the picture were not objects, but rather types of mental games, or role-playing activities, including mock sacraments (wedding, baptism, and...

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