The French of England: the Compileison, Ancrene Wisse, and the idea of Anglo-Norman
Abstract:This article considers the place of Anglo-Norman in nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarship as caught between two academic solitudes: that of a France mainly interested in a few works that could be assigned high cultural prestige as part of the canon of medieval French literature; and that of an England for the most part concerned to ignore or denigrate Anglo-Norman writing in favour of the (for much of the high Middle Ages more exiguous) tradition of writings in Middle English. As a test case of the benefit of moving beyond nationalizing narratives, the article uses a thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman Compileison. This work is intimately related to an early Middle English guide for recluses, Ancrene Wisse, which played a prominent role in J. R. R. Tolkien's construction of the history of English. The Compileison emerges as a sophisticated rethinking of Ancrene Wisse with the capacity to upset many of our standard notions of the role of Anglo-Norman in early English culture and of the significance of the French of England in the literatures and languages of 'Romania'.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2004
More about this publication?
- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Information for Advertisers
- Terms & Conditions
- Aims and Scope
- Recommend to your Library
- Sample Copy Request
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites