In a poststructuralist study of thirteenth-century French historical texts, Gabrielle Spiegel investigates the reasons for the rise of French vernacular prose historiography at this particular time. She argues that the vernacular prose histories that have until now been regarded as royalist were actually products of the aristocracy, reflecting its anxiety as it faced social and economic change and political threats from the monarchy.
Gabrielle M. Spiegel is Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of The Chronicle Tradition of Saint-Denis (1978).
"Reading Spiegel's book is like seeing the scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of history and literature suddenly assembled in a dazzling new image, a picture that could not have been made without the master piece, the manuscript that Professor Spiegel was the first person in almost 800 years to read and interpret. Her effort is a tour de force of no mean proportion."—Stephen G. Nichols Jr., author of Romanesque Signs