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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2023
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Book description

This new Companion provides a broad and perceptive overview of the most important vernacular literary genre of the Middle Ages. Freshly commissioned, original chapters from seventeen leading scholars introduce students and general readers to the form's poetics, narrative voice and manuscript contexts, as well as its relationship to the Mediterranean world, race, gender and the emotions, among many other topics. Providing fresh perspectives on the first pan-European literary movement, essays range across a broad geographical area, including England, France, Italy, Germany and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a varied linguistic spectrum, including Arabic, Hebrew and Yiddish. Exploring the celebration of chivalric ideals and courtly refinements, the volume excavates the tensions and traumas lying beneath decorous surface appearances. An introduction, bibliography of texts and translations as well as chapter-by-chapter reading lists complete this essential guide.


‘This new Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance builds on the strengths of the 2000 volume. Traditional topics, such as the history of the genre, the materiality of romance texts and the development of national traditions, highlight the most recent scholarship, including chapters devoted to meter and prosody, and narratorial voice. Other chapters focus on current interdisciplinary approaches to romance, such as explorations of a Mediterranean context, the application of critical race theory or affect theory and the analysis of romances across the medieval / early modern divide. The result is a volume that will be both an aid to the new-comer who is trying to find their way in a complex field and a boon to the experienced researcher who is contemplating new ways to engage with familiar texts.'

Richard Moll - University of Western Ontario

‘The New Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance is a brilliant and indispensable addition to the previous volume, which explores romances in a geographically broader and conceptually more diverse literary ecosystem. I was impressed with the wide range of scholars involved and the editor’s continued endeavour to make the chapters accessible without compromising on academic rigour and complexity.’

Sophie Marnette - Professor of Medieval French Studies, University of Oxford

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