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The Romance of the Rose (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 1 Apr 1999

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Apr 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192839489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192839480
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Frances Horgan is a self-employed translator. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Romance of the Rose was a medieval `bestseller': over 200 manuscripts of it have come down to us (compared to, for example, about 80 of The Canterbury Tales). The first part (c. 4000 lines) was composed by Guillaume de Lorris in c.1225, and there is an ongoing debate as to whether this was completed or left unfinished.

About forty years later, Jean de Meun wrote a much longer continuation of the poem taking a far more scholastic approach and using the text as a site for academic and philosophical debate. One way, then, of reading the de Meun section is as an `anti-Guillaume' poem, critiquing the very concept of `courtly love'.

Horgan's translation is into free and flexible modern prose, making this poem eminently readable and accessible. The introduction, however, and notes are both fairly brief and confine themselves to scene-setting, and source notes.

This is worth reading on its own merits, but is also important as a cultural resource for later medieval romance such as Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and Elizabethan chivalric romance such as Spenser's The Faerie Queene. It's also an important context for court revels and pageants throughout the sixteenth century: the Siege of Love motif, especially, is one which is played out at various tournaments and masques at the courts of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth.
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Format: Paperback
This story, translated from the medieval French is a marvellous read for all the allegory fans out there. It concerns the trials and tribulations of the Lover trying to reach his goal, the rose who he loves. It is interesting to compare this with the Mechant's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, which heavily draws from this French example of Allegory.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This may be a romance in the French sense of a work of fiction but there is little in it that we would describe as romantic. The story is an allegory on one young man's quest for sexual fulfilment, perhaps gratification is nearer to the mark. Guillaume de Lorris sets the scene in the first 4000 lines, the story being taken up some 40 years later by Jean de Meun whose style is completely different. The latter author peppers his text with references to classical Greek and Latin writers assuming no doubt that his readers are familiar with them. The current edition translated by Frances Horgan includes an excellent introduction and explanatory notes. Jean de Meun uses his contribution as a platform to air his polemic towards the mendicant orders of his day and his views on the natural world, neither of which have much bearing on the story. Although not great literature it does throw some light on 13th century thinking for those with the patience to follow his long winded digressions.
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By apollon on 22 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a good translation of the original text. However there are some minor parts missing, and if you're studying this book, I would recommend buying the medieval French text too, just to have something to compare the translation with.
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Format: Paperback
A comprehensive coverage, written in modern English with a clarification of the text in the introduction. Easily understandable and informative.
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