Aucassin and Nicolete
Done into English by: Andrew Lang
Publisher/Date: Portland, Maine: Thomas B. Mosher 1929 t.p. 10th edition, limited to 925 copies on Van Gelder paper.
Format/Condition: Used small hardcover book in slipcase in Good condition: aged-toned; slipcase cracked along one seam; aged-toned' wear. 66 pages. Binding good; textblock strong; pages clean and unmarked. Dimensions: 4 x 7 1/4 inches. Frontispiece
Description: From Wikipedia
"Aucassin et Nicolette" (12th or 13th century) is an anonymous medieval French chantefable, or combination of prose and verse (literally, a "sung story", similar to a prosimetrum). The work is known from only one surviving manuscript, discovered in 1752 by medievalist Jean-Baptiste de La Curne de Sainte-Palaye. The story and manuscript derive from the bourgeois Arras region in Picardy, not from the aristocratic and courtly Isle de France of Paris. It satirizes courtly love, turning it upside down." Critics have seen the story as a parody of such genres as the epic, the romance, and the saint's life.
The story begins with a song which serves as prologue; and then prose takes up the narrative. It recounts the tale of Aucassin, son of Count Garin of Beaucaire, who so loved Nicolette, a Saracen maiden, who had been sold to the Viscount of Beaucaire, baptized and adopted by him, that he had forsaken knighthood and chivalry and even refused to defend his father's territories from enemies. Accordingly, his father ordered the Viscount to send Nicolette away, but instead the Viscount locked her in a tower of his palace. Aucassin is imprisoned by his father to prevent him from going after his beloved Nicolette.