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The Lays of Marie de France

Marie de France
Translated, with Introduction and Commentary, by Edward J. Gallagher

2010 - 225 pp.

Format ISBN Price Qty
Cloth 978-1-60384-189-4
Paper 978-1-60384-188-7
Examination 978-1-60384-188-7

The Lays of Marie de France

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This edition includes Edward Gallagher's prose translations of The Lays of Marie de France; a general introduction; a map; commentaries on the lays; two anonymous Breton lays—The Lay of Melion and The Lay of Tyolet; a glossary of proper names; a glossary of specialized terms; and an appendix of selected texts in the Old French, including Marie's Prologue, Guigemar, Bisclavret, and Yonec.



"With admirable sensitivity to the meaning and style of the originals, Edward J. Gallagher has skillfully rendered these charming Old French verse narratives from the late twelfth century into engaging and readable modern English prose. Gallagher includes a detailed commentary on each of the twelve lays, two useful glossaries, and a selection of lays in Old French. Readers will appreciate his substantial and informative introduction to the works of Marie de France and to the illustrious literary and cultural context within which these masterpieces in miniature took shape." 
     —Donald Maddox, University of Massachusetts Amherst


“Editions and translations of Marie de France's Lais have appeared at a steady rate since 1885, indeed in every decade since the 1940s. Edward Gallagher's prose translation (which also translates two anonymous lais, Melion and Tyolet) is the latest, a lively, readable version. . . . [T]his book is welcome: it should help introduce yet more students to these fascinating poems in a clear and energetic prose.”
     —Modern Language Review


“The lectrice cultivée and the lecteur averti, including students, will have in this book all they need to appreciate Marie and to enjoy a smooth reading of her lais. A hundred years after Eugene Mason’s translation (1911) and a quarter-century after Burgess’s and Busby’s most recent effort (1986), it is good to have a new, finely honed rendering of one of the true monuments of French literature.”
     —Dalhousie French Studies


“Professor Gallagher’s translation is a very timely one. It is produced in a handsome paperback and is highly accessible in price and in its level of critical language to undergraduates, graduates, and lay (no pun intended) readers alike. Students of medieval literature, French or European, will find it a congenial text, written in clear English prose, of Marie’s twelve Lays, along with two other lays not attributed to Marie. Each Lay is followed by an illuminative commentary. The body of the text is preceded by an excellent “Introduction” wherein Gallagher provides the chief facts about Marie, her oeuvre, and recent critical scholarship on Marie, without indulging in unneeded pedantry.”
     —Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures

Edward J. Gallagher is Professor of French Studies, Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts. 

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