Cover: The Decline of Chivalry as Shown in the French Literature of the Late Middle Ages, from Harvard University PressCover: The Decline of Chivalry as Shown in the French Literature of the Late Middle Ages in E-DITION

The Decline of Chivalry as Shown in the French Literature of the Late Middle Ages

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$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674182301

Publication: January 1937

Available 10/01/2013

431 pages

World

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Although standard court literature in France and Burgundy during the late Middle Ages (1350-1500) continued to view chivalry as the dominant force in lay society, the large majority of authors were concerned over social changes, and their works often show an astonishingly clear understanding of such matters. In general, it was an age when authors were better observers and moralists than literary artists. One can discern currents of clerical and lay criticism that moved side by side in constant opposition to the partisans of chivalric self-satisfaction. At the same time, the reform of the army reduced knighthood to a mere decoration for the noble classes, and it ceased to be an inspiration for literature. Raymond Kilgour’s purpose in the present volume has been to show the reflection of this slow disintegration of chivalry in the work of such writers as Deschamps, Christine de Pisan, Gerson, Chastellain, and Commines.