The Tournaments at Le Hem and Chauvency
Title Details

160 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

2 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Tournaments at Le Hem and Chauvency

Sarrasin: The Romance of Le Hem; Jacques Bretel: The Tournament at Chauvency

Translated by Nigel Bryant

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
First translation of two vivid accounts of French thirteenth-century tournaments, rich in detail and an impassioned defence of tournaments and their importance.
The Romance of Le Hem and The Tournament at Chauvency are eyewitness accounts of the famous tournaments held in 1278 at Le Hem on the banks of the Somme in north-eastern France, and in 1285 at Chauvency in Lorraine.
Written within weeks of the events they describe, they record in vivid detail not only the jousts and the mêlées but also the entertainments and dramatic interludes which preceded, followed and embellished these festivals of martial sport. As Sarrasin makes clear, theatre as well as jousting, and jousting in the context of enacted stories, were central to what took place at Le Hem, involving elaborate role-play by participants as figures from Arthurian romance. And few medieval accounts of events have such thrilling immediacy as Jacques Bretel's record of Chauvency. He sat in a prime place, on the fourth step of the stand, and the reader sees and hears the action as if sitting at his shoulder - and eavesdrops on conversations, too. He gives remarkable insights into the surprising role played by song, and into how the whole event was perceived and understood.
These intriguing works are invaluable source material for scholars not only of medieval chivalry and tournaments but also of festivities and performance.
Introduction
The Romance of Le Hem
The Tournament at Chauvency
Editions, Manuscripts and Further Reading
Sarrasin, The Romance of Le Hem
Jaques Bretel, The Tournament at Chauvency

NIGEL BRYANT is well known for his lively and accurate versions of medieval French works. His translations of Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval
and all its continuations and of the extraordinary late Arthurian romance Perceforest have been major achievements; he has also translated Jean le Bel's history of the early stages of the Hundred Years War, and the 13th- and 14th-century biographies of William Marshal and Bertrand du Guesclin. He was awarded the 2019 Norris J. Lacy Prize for outstanding editorial achievement
in Arthurian studies.

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September 2020

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Title Details

160 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

2 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press