- Nouvelle Bibliographie du 'Roman de la Rose' by Herman Braet
This volume is a very welcome update to Heather M. Arden's The 'Roman de la Rose': An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1993). While Arden included some 800 items covering the entire period of scholarly publication on Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose, Herman Braet has added over 1,200 more (although some works appear under more than one category) for the subsequent quarter-century and filling in some of the gaps inevitably left by his predecessor. Entries typically have a sentence or two summarizing the outlines of a piece's argument and, where relevant, some references to scholarly reviews. This work is a really useful contribution to the study of the Rose, grouping together works in literary history and philology, in literary analysis, in iconography, and in reception. Works are ordered by subcategory and then chronologically rather than alphabetically, while the index works as a useful alphabetical finding aid. Braet's concise Introduction gives an excellent state of the field, charting the history of modern criticism on the Rose. While this book should be consulted by anyone thinking of writing on the text, it is important to note that it is less a stand-alone book than it is a continuation of Arden's bibliography. Accordingly, read on its own it is incomplete. Braet does not include in his list works in the earlier volume but, as he explains in a footnote to his short 'Avant-propos' (p. ix, n. 1), such works are referred to with a page reference in Arden. [End Page 593] Presumably there are material questions, such as cost, that led to the choice of this method, but a new single-volume complete bibliography would have been more practical and thus more useful. Be that as it may, researchers must be grateful to Braet for his dedication and patience in producing this research tool. As the rate of scholarly production on the Rose increases year on year, it is to be hoped that we will be lucky enough to be able to draw on similar bibliographical updates in the future.