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LC control 85114965
Topical headingRomances
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Variant(s)Chivalric romances
Courtly romances
French romances
Medieval romances
Romances, French
Romans courtois
See alsosubdivision Romances under names of historic persons, etc.
French literature--To 1500
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Literature, Medieval
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Scope noteHere are entered collections of medieval metrical romances (general and French) and their prose versions. Collections in one language other than French are qualified by language, e.g. Romances, English. Works of fiction dealing with romantic love are entered under Romance fiction.
Subject example tracingNote under Romance fiction
Found inWikipedia, Dec. 5, 2014: Chivalric romance (As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, yet it is "the emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates"; Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion; Originally, romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman and Occitan, later, in English and German. During the early 13th century, romances were increasingly written as prose. In later romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love, such as faithfulness in adversity; The medieval romance developed out of the medieval epic. The romance form is distinguished from the earlier epics of the Middle Ages by the changes of the 12th century, which introduced courtly and chivalrous themes into the works)
The new Oxford companion to literature in French, via Oxford reference online, Nov. 8, 2012 (romance: Term used in English language criticism of French literature for the roman courtois, or courtly romance, a narrative genre that flourished in the 12th and 13th c., first in verse and then in prose, and continued in various transformations throughout the Middle Ages; as contrasted with the epic, or chanson de geste, romance focused on the inner dilemma or quest of an individual knight, highlighted sentimental and chivalric education and the conflict of knightly duty with private desire)
Baldick, C. The Oxford dictionary of literary terms, 2008: romance (A fictional story in verse or prose that relates improbable adventures of idealized characters in some remote or enchanted setting; or, more generally, a tendency in fiction opposite to that of realism. The term now embraces many forms of fiction from the Gothic novel and the popular escapist love story (also known popularly as romances) to the 'scientific romances' of H.G. Wells, but it usually refers to the tales of King Arthur's knights written in the late Middle Ages by Chrétien de Troyes (in verse), Sir Thomas Malory (in prose), and many others (see Arthurian literature, chivalric romance). Medieval romance is distinguished from epic by its concentration on courtly love rather than warlike heroism.) chivalric romance (The principal kind of romance found in medieval Europe from the 12 century onwards, describing (usually in verse) the adventures of legendary knights, and celebrating an idealized code of civilized behaviour that combines loyalty, honour, and courtly love. The emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates)