This book offers new insights into the rich and varied Dutch literature of the Middle Ages. Sixteen essays written by top scholars consider this literature in the context of the social, historical and cultural developments of the period in which it took shape. The collection includes studies of the most representative authors, genres, works and current fields of research interest, ranging from the court and the city, the world of chivalry, the literature of love, religious literature, drama and the artes texts. The essays draw on the idea of a common tradition in medieval literature, originating in France and shared by other literatures of western Europe. To facilitate the reader's understanding of the European context in which Dutch literature developed, a comparative chronological survey provides an overview of the main cultural, historical and literary events between 1150 and 1500. The bibliography includes details of published English translations of medieval Dutch texts discussed.
"the volume contains much that is fascinating, plus some true treasures of discovery...Erik Kooper's volume, which contains a useful bibliography of translations and an excellent four-column chronology, instructively complements the English-based collaboration edited by Caroline Barron and Nigel Saul...It certainly deepens the fascination of this shifting, densely populated bloc of European territories, native ground to anxieties and fantasies that will flower through Bosch and Brueghel and so inaugurate, some might say, the ego's era." David Wallace, Studies in the Age of Chaucer