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Marie de France

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This site will introduce you to Marie de France, a medieval writer of romances and fables.
In this site I have attempted to present a comprehensive overview of Marie de France and her works in a creative and unique way.  While researching Marie de France, I found many sites that were down, had broken links, or were difficult to navigate.  I have tried to provide a site that is easy to use, interactive, and pleasant to look at.  I hope I have accomplished this and you enjoy what you see.

Woman Of Mystery

Marie de France, the earliest French woman poet, did not have a biographer and much of what we know of her today are assumptions scholars have made based on her works. There is no record of her last name and her first name is known only because of a line from one of her works: "Marie ai num, si sui de France" (Fables Epilog 4) - "My name is Marie, and I am from (of) France."

Scholarly dating of Marie’s work is based mainly on historical and textual and references. Her Laisare estimated anywhere between 1160 and 1199; the Fables between 1160 and 1190; and the Espurgatoire after 1189 and as late as 1208-15. The cornerstone assumption is that Marie was a French native writing in England, and that she was a resident of, and wrote for, the court of Henry II.

Identifying Marie's language is often debated by scholars and there is evidence that she knew Breton, Old English, Middle English, Latin, and Anglo-Norman and a number of other Old French dialects. It is interesting to note, some of the oldest and most significant works in the French vernacular survived in their earliest form in Anglo-Norman manuscripts as literary works were valued by this culture.

Marie's audience was probably aristocratic, judging from her level of education and sophistication, as well as an oft-quoted reference to her by a fellow poet, Denis Piramus, who recounts her popularity among "counts, barons, and knights"




Source:  Medieval Forum





Site created by Lucy LeBlanc for English 3621: Women's Writing I