Why do Froissart's "Chroniques" still find enthusiastic readers 600 years after they were written? In this reading Peter Ainsworth argues that their strength lies in their textual richness and complexity. A chronicle of international chivairy that pretends to the title of history, it is in fact neither history nor romance, though it partakes a little of both. Rather it is a variegated narrative of vast proportions, marked by numerous shifts of perspective and narrative techniques. It veers from the historical to the outrageously fictional, from the journalistic travelogue to the moral tale, from self effacement in the service of impartiality to unashamed self-celebration. In exploring the literary qualities of the "chroniques" this study gives particular consideration to the range of responses invited from the reader, the relative openness, ambivalence, or predictability of the text and to the relationship between narrative and ideology. The book leads up to, and concludes with, an examination of the value and status of Froissart's final redaction of book I (almost certainly his last compilation), in the context of the whole work as it developed over some 40-50 years of literary and historical activity.
`One reads and rereads Peter Ainsworth's densely textured volume on Froissart's Chroniques with a growing sense of gratitude for the riches it contains ... this book offers a fresh conceptualization of the "literariness" of the Chroniques and identifies evolutionary stages in both Froissart's discursive practices and his attitudes toward chivalry ... Ainsworth's volume offers a relatively broad audience access to the problems and achievements of recent scholarship while making its own distinguished contribution ... Ainsworth's focus is consistently literary throughout.' Studies in the Age of Chaucer `the book is going to be essential and invaluable for all Froissart scholars and indeed for historians of the period. It is beautifully produced and has a helpful and impressive bibliography which bears witness to the impressive breadth of Ainsworth's reading and scholarship' Peter Noble, French Studies `careful and impressive study' The Ricardian `Ainsworth's book is best described as a series of rich, penetrating, elegantly written studies inviting us to look at the Chroniques as text. insworth's study of a historian prey to an increasingly urgent sense of tension between reality and ideal is a most valuable contribution to the rehabilitation of fourteenth-century narrative modes.' Jane H. M. Taylor, Medium Aevum
Number Of Pages: 346
Published: 13th December 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.9 x 14.5 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.59