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.