This book is a reference volume and a digest of more than a century of scholarly work on troubadour poetry. Written by leading scholars, it summarizes the current consensus on the various facets of troubadour studies.
Standing at the beginning of the history of modern European verse, the troubadours were the prime poets and composers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in the South of France. No study of medieval literature is complete without an examination of the courtly love which is celebrated in the elaborately rhymed stanzas of troubadour verse, creations whose words and melodies were imitated by poets and musicians all over medieval Europe.
The words of about 2,500 troubadour songs have survived, along with 250 melodies, and all have come under intense scholarly scrutiny. This Handbook brings together the fruits of this scrutiny, giving teachers and students an overview of the fundamental issues in troubadour scholarship. All quotations are given in the original Old Occitan and in English. The editors provide a list of troubadour editions and an index, and each chapter includes a list of additional readings.
F.R.P. Akehurst is Professor of French at the University of Minnesota. He is the translator of The Coutumes de Beauvaisis of Philippe de Beaumanoir (1992). Judith M. Davis is Professor of French and Humanities at Goshen College.
"The Handbook provides an extensive apprenticeship tour into medieval Occitan studies, illustrating richly their challenges and rewards. A wonderful resource for the novice as well as the specialist, a vast mine of up-to-date information."—Michel-André Bossy, editor of Medieval Debate Poetry
"This work will certainly be a must for every scholar working on the troubadours, and perhaps also for non-specialist medievalists. Its attention to the nitty-gritty of scholarship—manuscripts, editing, language, rhetoric, etc.—is what makes it so unique and helpful. It will be on the top of my bibliography when I teach the troubadours."—Stephen G. Nichols, author of Romanesque Signs