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Marie de France

From Academic Kids

Marie de France was a poet, in France and England during the late 12th century. Little is known of her early life; from the simple but literary Anglo-Norman in which her works are composed, it is supposed that she was raised in Normandy. Her name is known from a line in one of her published works: Marie ai nun, si sui de France, which translates as, "My name is Marie, I am from France."

Her written works include 12 "Breton lais" (or lays), the "Ysopet" fables, and the Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick. The first record of Marie de France is about 1160, with the last known record being at about 1215. One of her works is dedicated to a "King Henry," the other to a "Count William"; it is thought that these refer to Henry II of England and his oldest son, William, Count of Poitiers. As the wife of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine was well known to be a patroness of troubadors and other artists, it seems logical to assume that Marie de France was a member of their court. The identity now known as "poet Marie de France" could be same as Eleanor's eldest daughter Mary, Princess of France and Countess of Champagne, though this identification is far from certain.

Bibliography

  • Burgess, Glyn S. The Lais of Marie de France: Text and Context. Athens: University of Georgia Press, c1987.
  • Ferrante, Joan and Robert Hanning. The Lais of Marie de France. Durham, N. C.: Labyrinth Press, 1982.
  • Hoepffner, Ernest "The Breton Lais" in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Roger S. Loomis (ed.). Clarendon Press: Oxford University. 1959. ISBN 0198115881
  • Rychner, Jean. 1983. Les Lais de Marie de France. Paris: Honoreť†Éhampion.

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