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Reviews 261 Reading Practice), the study is substantiated with over 600 notes, a select but nonetheless copious bibliography and a general index and index of manuscripts. Judy Quinn Department of English University of Sydney Richmond, Velma Bourgeois, The Legend of Guy of Warwick, (Garland Studies in Medieval Literature 14), N e w York, Garland, 1996; board; pp. xv, 551; 75 b / w Ulustrations; R.R.P. US$99.00. In this comprehensive and exhaustive study Velma Bourgeois Richmond brings to fruition some fifteen years' research into the legendary Guy, Earl of Warwick. A n epitome of chivalric prowess and piety, Guy first appears in the early thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman romance Gui de Warewic. Richmond explores the models that preceded the anonymous author's narrative, and shows h o w the story of G u y became one of the most popular romance tales of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, translated and adapted in numerous medieval versions, including the weU-known Middle EngUsh Guy of Warwick. With the advent of printing, Guy's legend was more widely disseminated, not only in the EngUsh romance version, but also in simplified stories in innumerable chapbooks and other cheap publications. In the Renaissance and Restoration the legend was not generaUy regarded as the stuff of serious literature, and was consigned to popular fiction, ballads and dramas; increasingly it came to be regarded as a topic suitable mainly for children. The new enthusiasm for chivalry extending from the Romantic era until the First World War only partly succeeded in rehabilitating the legend as a serious topic. In the twentieth century it has been sustained mainly in popular forms connected with the folklore revival. Richmond painstakingly catalogues and discusses the multitude of texts, ulustrations and material forms depicting Guy, tracing their lines of derivation and influence, and relating developments to wider literary and cultural issues. The book reproduces many manuscript Ulustrations, woodcuts, text title pages and other items in black and white. 262 Reviews Richmond is at her best in the primary tasks of collection and textual analysis. Her research has been assiduous, involving both extensive Ubrary-work in numerous centres, and field-work in Warwickshire where G u y remains weU-known in the folk imagination (and is exploited in pub decor and tourist brochures). A later accretion to the legend that reinforces local interest is the famous episode describing Guy's combat with the D u n Cow. Richmond's extensive coUection of materials enables us to trace the origins and development of such an episode more precisely than hitherto. Its earUest surviving Uterary treatment appears in Richard Lloyd's The Nine Worthies (1584), but John Caius describes the rib of a giant cow slain by G u y that he saw at Warwick castle in 1552. Richmond traces the story back further, arguing that a marginal Ulustration in a fourteenth-century manuscript of Gregory DCs Decretals indicates the existence of an antecedent oral version of the story, if not a written one. Richmond's attempts at wider contextualisation of Guy's literary fortunes are necessarily brief, and less effective than the textual analyses (see, for example, the perfunctory treatment of late eighteenth-century medievalism and the Romantics, pp. 240-41). Sadly, it must be said that the book is not altogether easy to read. There are oddities of phrasing, and infelicities of punctuation and sentence structure. In striving for conciseness the writer (or perhaps a copy-editor?) often adopts indirect and impersonal forms of expression that tax the reader. Nevertheless, Veuna Richmond is to be commended for completing this large and complex study, and for providing an essential reference for the G u y legend. Greg Waite EngUsh Department University of Otago Robert le Chapelain, Corset: A Rhymed Commentary on the Seven Sacraments (Anglo-Norman Texts 52), ed. K. V. Sinclair, London, Birkbeck CoUege, Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1995; cloth; pp. x, 150; 1 plate; R.R.P. £15.00. This edition undoubtedly benefits from being the product of close on forty years of intermittent preparation, as Sinclair admits in his ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 261-262
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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