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'
`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
Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I: Representations - Froissart and the discourse of history: Telling the truth: the discourse of history; Chronicle, history, romance; Of verse and prose . . . The 'lost' chronicle; History and ideology in fourteenth-century France; Knight, Magnate, King and Clerk: Froissart's vision of aristocratic and military society; War and chivalry; Kings, barons, clerks, and peasants; Part II: Transgrassions - L'estoire and its fortunes:
Bending the truth: "Ceci n'est pas un conte" - Froissart, Mérigot Marchès, and the well-ordered narrative; Anecdote, tale, and nouvelle; Black, white, and grey - a tomb embellished; The quest for truth: "Je, sire Jehan Froissart, fay narracion . . ." -Froissart-Scriptor and the metaphor of the
journey; Knife, key, bear, and book: poisoned metonymies and the problem of translatio; The transmission of truth: the theme of translatio in the later Chroniques; 'Jones et à venir': promise or folly in the young king; Magnates, Marmousets, and marmousets; Translatio militii; Part III: Image-building - The rewriting (and re-reading) of Book I: Re-writing the past: dramatic 'landscape' in the Rome Manuscript; The Orwell 'landscape' and the invasion of 1325; Sources, significance,
tradition; Meliador and the Isle of Man; Creating an image: Edward III in the Rome Manuscript; A changing ethos; The apprentice king; "A tout le mains faites asambler vous hommes et vostre consel": Edward III and his counsellors; Confiance, vaillance . . . et sagesse? Li senglers de Windesore; Lessons and trials:
Edward the wise; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index
Number Of Pages: 346
Published: 13th December 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.9 x 14.5
Weight (kg): 0.59