Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 10684
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Broadhurst , Karen M.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Patrons of Literature in French? [Henry probably only commissioned two texts in French: Wace's "Roman de Rou" and Benoît's "Chronique des ducs de Normandie;" there is no evidence that Eleanor commissioned any works].
  • Source: Viator 27, ( 1996): Pages 53 - 84.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Eleanor of Aquitaine, Wife of Louis VII of France and Henry II of EnglandHenry II, King of England Kings Literature- Verse Patronage, Literary Queens
  • Geographic Area: British Isles;France
  • Century: 12
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  • Abstract: This article demonstrates that the role of Henry II and Eleanor as patrons of vernacular literature has been grossly exaggerated. Medievalists have often assumed a patronage relationship based on rather flimsy "evidence." A definition of literary patronage is therefore established, with particular emphasis on the distinction between dedications and commissions. The words of the texts associated with Henry and Eleanor are then examined in order to determine the likelihood of the royal pair's involvement as patrons. The conclusions are that Henry commissioned only two texts in French (both unfinished Norman chronicles justifying his position as ruler of England and Normandy), and that Eleanor did not commission a single text, according to extant evidence. Thus, the accepted image of the influential connection between literature in French and this king and queen of England must be revised. [Reproduced by permission of the University of California Press.]
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1996.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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