The Stanza-Form of the 'Lament for the Death of Edward I' in Middle English and Anglo-Norman Versions: A Reconstruction

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Abstract

In this article I explain the anomalies in the ababbcbc rhyme scheme (i. e. the ‘pseudo-balade’ format) of the Lament for the Death of Edward I, one of the Middle English Harley lyrics, which can be dated to 1308. Partly through comparisons with three fragments of an incomplete attestation of the same poem in Cambridge, University Library, MS Additional 4407, Art. 19, and partly through a re-interpretation of the poem's dialectal features, certain passages in the poem can be reconstructed in what must have been its original northern or north-midland dialect. I also analyse the relation between the Middle English poem and an Anglo-Norman version of the same poem, and revisit the notion that the former must have been a translation of the latter. Thus I show that the earliest Middle English attestation of the ‘pseudo-balade’ rhyme scheme is based upon an Anglo-Norman original.

The Stanza Form of the Middle English Lament for the Death of Edward I : A Reconstruction. Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/249944781_The_Stanza_Form_of_the_Middle_English_Lament_for_the_Death_of_Edward_I__A_Reconstruction [accessed Nov 10, 2015].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-245
JournalAnglia
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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