on 14 January 2004
Even though this book was written in 1936, it's still essential reading for anyone who's interested in mediaeval literature. It's an introduction to the technique of allegory, a method of writing which often seems artificial to modern readers, and one which can actually convince you that, yes, there is something to it. It's also the story of how romantic love came to be considered a subject of literature - or even considered at all. So, in a way, without these poets, we'd never have had Mills and Boon...But we'd never have had "Romeo and Juliet", either, so you probably have to forgive them. Like all Lewis' books, it's written in a clear style which manages to be both informative and, dare one say it, entertaining. But don't that mislead you - it's still serious scholarship.
Of course, a book that's almost seventy years old isn't exactly at the cutting edge of research. Things move on, even in mediaeval studies,and some of his conclusions have their critics. Still,
on 15 October 2009
Written as only C.S. Lewis can. This is a comprehensive coverage of the allegorical, courtly love poems but with bias toward Lewis, opinion at times. Nevertheless it is an invaluable help in understanding Medieval love poems when used in conjunction with related literature.