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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
Troubadours and Trouvères
Harriet Waters Preston (1836–1911)
 
Troubadours and Trouvères, by Harriet Waters Preston (1876), is an account of the poetry of Provence, old and new. The earlier essays describe the work of the two best-known of the “Félibres,” as the school of modern poets of the South of France is called: men who write in the old “langue d’oc,” or Provençal dialect, in opposition to the “langue d’oil,” or French tongue, which they do not acknowledge as their language. Miss Preston makes many translations of their verse, which give a vivid presentment of the fire and color and naïve simplicity of the originals. Another poet of the South of France, neither Provençal nor French, was Jacques Jasmin, who wrote in the peculiar Gascon dialect, with all the wit and gayety of his race. The forerunners of all these men were the old troubadours, who flourished from the driving out of the Saracens to the end of the crusades, during the “age of chivalry,” and who spent their lives making love songs for the ladies of their preference. Their chansons, or songs, so simple and so perfect, were invariably on the one theme of love; occasionally they wrote longer pieces, called “sirventes,” which were narrative or satiric. Many charming translations illustrate their manner. The book closes with a chapter on the Arthurian legends, showing what these owe to Geoffrey of Monmouth, to unknown French romances, to Sir Thomas Malory, and finally to Tennyson. Miss Preston’s excellent scholarship and rare literary gift combine to make a most entertaining book.  1
 
 
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