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Graduate Research Seminar: Re-Presenting Emilia for a Queen: Text and Image in Anne de Graville's “Beau roman”

Dr Elizabeth L'Estrange (University of Birmingham)
When Feb 06, 2013
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where History of Art Graduate Centre, 4a Trumpington Street
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Around 1520, at the behest of Queen Claude of France, Anne de Graville produced a reworking of Boccaccio's Teseida entitled Le Beau roman des deux amants Palamon et Arcita et de la belle et sage Emilia. Dismissed in the early twentieth century as a tale to charm sentimental ladies, Anne's Beau roman has more recently been shown to be a subtle reworking of the Teseida, probably from an earlier French prose version, which engages with contemporary literary trends such as the love epistle and the querelle des femmes. Like Christine de Pizan some hundred years earlier, Anne de Graville adapted her source text to make it appealing to female readers at the French court, offering them a lesson in how women should conduct themselves in love and marriage. This paper explores de Graville's Beau roman as a learned and pro-feminine story that sought to counter the negative views of women that were being debated in the on-going querelle. It draws in particular on the illuminated dedication copy made for Claude of France (Paris, Arsenal, MS 5116) to show how the material nature of the manuscript - including its images and other texts - contribute to the message that Anne de Graville was promoting to her female, courtly, audience.

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