'The French of Wales'? Possibilities, Approaches, Implications
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Lampitt, M. 'The French of Wales'? Possibilities, Approaches, Implications. French Studies https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.71963
In a ground-breaking 1994 article, the late Prof. David Trotter outlined an ‘étude préliminaire’ into the presence, functions, and dynamics of ‘Anglo-French’ in medieval Wales, concluding that it should be viewed as ‘une langue non pas de l’Angleterre, mais des Iles Britanniques’ (p. 481). This article is an attempt to follow up and fill out Trotter’s work from a literary perspective in the hope of establishing a dialogue between recent work in French studies on medieval francophonies outside of France and that of the many scholars who have explored the linguistic and literary interactions of French- and Welsh-language cultures and communities. The article proceeds by first considering francophone literary texts in Wales: it discusses the evidence provided by Welsh translations/adaptations of French-language texts, analyses literary activity in a case-study locale (Ynysforgan, c. 1380–1410), and considers the question of francophone ‘influence’ on Welsh-language writers like Dafydd ap Gwilym. The second section investigates French-language texts from Wales, but also considers how this investigation is circumscribed by post-medieval national geographies. The article concludes by suggesting some possible implications of a ‘French of Wales’ for broader understandings of medieval cultural geographies and francophone literary histories.
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This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.71963
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/324510
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