Roman de la Rose

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Missing image
BodleianDouce364Fol8rRomanRoseMirthGladnessLeadDance.jpg
Mirth and Gladness lead a Dance in this miniature from a manuscript of the Roman de la Rose in the Bodleian Library (MS Douce 364, folio 8r).

The Roman de la Rose is a late medieval French work of fiction in allegorical dream form.

It was written in two stages: the first, by Guillaume de Lorris circa 1230, describes the attempts of a courtier to woo his beloved. This part of the story is set in a walled garden (a locus amoenus, one of the traditional topoi of epic and chivalric literature), the interior of which represents romance, the exterior everyday life. The rose of the title represents the lady's love. The work was completed by Jean de Meun circa 1275, with a more philosophical discussion of love.

The work was both very popular and very controversial — it survives in dozens of illuminated manuscripts but also provoked attacks by Jean Gerson, Christine de Pizan and many other writers and moralists of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Part of the story was translated into Middle English as The Romaunt of the Rose, which had a great influence on English literature.

See also

sv:Roman de la Rose pl:Roman de la Rose

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