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Crane, Susan

In the decades following the Norman Conquest, a new dialect of Old French expressed England's gradual detachment from continental influence. Usually called Anglo-Norman after the political and geographic divisions that gave rise to it, this dialect originated in the many continental vernaculars spoken by the conquerors and their followers, but it soon became "a language apart," defining aurally the separation of its speakers from France. The romances written in Anglo-Norman dialect, while not much noticed on the continent, had a profound influence on emerging Middle English
romance. In this study I argue that Anglo-Norman romances and their Middle English versions form a distinctively "insular" body of works, closely related to one another and to their situation in England. Divided from continental romance in emphases as in language, the insular works share poetic concerns and techniques that respond forcefully to issues of their time and place.


Also Published In

Insular Romance: Politics, Faith, and Culture in Anglo-Norman and Middle English Literature
University of California Press

More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Published Here
December 9, 2009