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French Mediaeval Romances from the Lays of Marie de France
by Marie De France
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Eugene Mason's 1911 translation of The Lais of Marie de France is thought to be superseded today by some scholars. It was, however, one of the first broad popular translations of one of the great works of Medieval literature, the "Lais" of the mysterious Marie de France, and two other Medieval French romances. Little is known today about Marie de France, save a contemporary mention of her as the author of the "Lais," which were originally long, lyrical poems often sung by the troubadours of the day -- traveling singers who played ancient instruments that have since been forgotten. Some refer to the Italian Renaissance, but have forgotten the earlier French flowering of poetry, music and culture, of which Marie was the "queen," although we know only her name and work today. Said to be most popular among women, Marie's "lais" have born fruit to this day, in the form of chivalric, romantic, and even supernatural tales: one of the "lais" is the story of a werewolf.
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