The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe
Title Details

285 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

28 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Medieval Romance

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe

Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts

by Lydia Zeldenrust

  • Description
  • Contents
The legend of Mélusine examined in a pan-European context.
Readers have long been fascinated by the enigmatic figure of Mélusine - a beautiful fairy woman cursed to transform into a half-serpent once a week, whose part-monstrous sons are the ancestor of several European noble houses. Thisstudy is the first to consider how this romance developed from a local legend to European bestseller, analysing versions in French, German, Castilian, Dutch, and English. It addresses questions on how to study medieval literaturefrom a European perspective, moving beyond national canons, and reading Mélusine's bodily mutability as a metaphor for how the romance itself moves and transforms across borders. It also analyses key changes to the romance's content, form, and material presentation - including its images - and traces how the people who produced and consumed this romance shaped its international transmission and spread. The author shows how Mélusine's character is adaptedwithin each local context, while also uncovering previously unknown connections between the different branches of this multilingual tradition. Moving beyond established paradigms of separate national traditions, manuscript versusprint, and medieval versus Renaissance literature, the book integrates literary analysis with art historical and book historical approaches.

LYDIA ZELDENRUST is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York.
Introduction: Mutations of Mélusine
Chapter 1: The French Mélusine and Roman de Parthenay
Textual Witnesses: Audience, Variance, Selected Corpus
Mélusine: God's Marvellous Monster
Careful Plotting: Revealing Mélusine's Curse and Fairy Nature
From Half-Serpent to Serpent: Hybridity and Transformation
Inheriting Monstrosity: Mélusine's Sons
Chapter 2: The German Melusine
From Manuscript to Print: Audiences, Images, and Textual Stability
Melusine the Ideal Christian Fairy
Serpent or Half-Serpent?
Melusine the Monstrous Mother
Chapter 3: The Castilian Melosina
The 1489 Edition by Parix and Cleblat
The 1526 Edition by the Crombergers
Key Transformations in Style and Paratext
Melosina: More Fairy than Human?
A Catholic Wedding
Duality Versus Animality
Depicting/Recycling the Monstrous Body: Melosina's Sons
Chapter 4: The Dutch Meluzine
The 1491 Edition by Gheraert Leeu
The 1510 Edition by Henrick Eckert van Homberch
The 1602 Edition by Hieronymus I Verdussen
A Hybrid Translation: How, Why, and Which Source?
More Human than Fairy
Becoming the Animal
Increased Focus on Hybridity
Chapter 5: The English Melusine and Partenay
The Prose Melusine
The Printed Melusine Fragments
The Verse Partenay
Why Translations of Both Versions?
Translation Strategies: Content versus Form
'ryght as the frenshe wil yiff me evidence': Invisibility and Close Translation
Melusine and Her Part-Monstrous Sons
Conclusion: Mélusine's European Dimensions
Appendix: Manuscripts and Printed Editions of the Various Mélusine Versions (up to c. 1600)

Hardcover

9781843845218

January 2020

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9781787446137

January 2020

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Title Details

285 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

28 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Medieval Romance

Imprint: D.S.Brewer