The Lays of Marie de France
122 pages, 5 x 8
Release Date:01 Apr 2013

The Lays of Marie de France

Translated by David R. Slavitt
Athabasca University Press
The twelve “lays” of Marie de France, the earliest knownFrench woman poet, are here presented in sprightly English verse bypoet/translator David R. Slavitt. These old Breton folk tales were theraw material for Marie de France’s series of lively but profoundconsiderations of love, life, death, fidelity and betrayal, and luckand fate. They are acute observations about the different kinds ofchoices women make, startling in the late twelfth century andchallenging even today. The lays, which combine a woman’s wisdomwith an impressive technical bravura, are a minor treasure of Europeanculture.

David R. Slavitt is a widely known poet, novelist,critic, and translator. He prepared these English versions of the laysof Marie de France because he loved them.

Foreword- vii


Prologue- 3

I. Guigemar

I. Guigemar- 5

II. Equitan- 27

III. Le Fresne- 35

IV. Bisclavret- 47

V. Lanval- 55

VI. The Two Lovers- 71

VII. Yonec- 77

VIII. Laüstic- 89

IX. Milun- 93

X. Chaitivel- 105

XI. Chevrefoil- 111

XII. Eliduc- 115

For Further Reading- 147

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