Home » From Aesop to Reynard: Beast Literature in Medieval Britain by Jill Mann
From Aesop to Reynard: Beast Literature in Medieval Britain Jill Mann

From Aesop to Reynard: Beast Literature in Medieval Britain

Jill Mann

Published
ISBN : 9780199217687
Hardcover
448 pages
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 About the Book 

What do stories about animals have to tell us about human beings? This book analyzes the shrewd perceptions about human life - and especially human language - that emerge from narratives in which the main figures are talking animals. Its guidingMoreWhat do stories about animals have to tell us about human beings? This book analyzes the shrewd perceptions about human life - and especially human language - that emerge from narratives in which the main figures are talking animals. Its guiding question is not what but how animals mean. Using this question to draw a clear distinction between beast fable and beast epic, it goes on to examine the complex variations of these forms that are to be found in the literature of medieval Britain, in English, French, Latin, and Scots. The range, variety, and brilliant inventiveness of this tradition are demonstrated in chapters on the fables of Marie de France, the Speculum stultorum of Nigel of Longchamp (the comic adventures of a donkey), the debate poem The Owl and the Nightingale, Chaucers Parliament of Fowls and the tales of the Squire, Manciple and Nuns Priest, the Reynardian tale of The Fox and the Wolf, and the Moral Fabillis of Robert Henryson. English translations provided for all quotations make the works discussed accessible to the modern reader.