The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts (Studies in Medieval Romance, Book 23)

October 31, 2020
The Mélusine Romance in Medieval Europe: Translation, Circulation, and Material Contexts (Studies in Medieval Romance, Book 23)

Readers have long been fascinated by the enigmatic figure ofMelusine - a beautiful fairy woman cursed to transform into ahalf-serpent once a week, whose part-monstrous sons are theancestor of several European noble houses. This study is the firstto consider how this romance developed from a local legend toEuropean bestseller, analysing versions in French, German,Castilian, Dutch, and English. It addresses questions on how tostudy medieval literature from a European perspective, movingbeyond national canons, and reading Melusine's bodily mutability asa metaphor for how the romance itself moves and transforms acrossborders. It also analyses key changes to the romance's content,form, and material presentation - including its images - and traceshow the people who produced and consumed this romance shaped itsinternational transmission and spread. The author shows howMelusine's character is adapted within each local context, whilealso uncovering previously unknown connections between thedifferent branches of this multilingual tradition. Moving beyondestablished paradigms of separate national traditions, manuscriptversus print, and medieval versus Renaissance literature, the bookintegrates literary analysis with art historical and bookhistorical approaches.