Mediaeval Age: Specimens of European Poetry from the Ninth to the Fifteenth Century - Angel FloresPhoenix House, 1965, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with untidy tears to both panels. Leans. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Previous owners' inscription to the half-title page. Text complete, clean and tight otherwise.
First British Edition. [First Published: Dell USA, 1963]
From the cover: “We do not know, what it would cost you to buy all the books in which English versions of the works presented in this volume appear. In any case you could not do so because a fair proportion of them are not in print in any English translation and a smaller number have not to our knowledge been translated before.
This is a selection of the flower of European mediaeval poetic art, and the word ‘European’ has been interpreted in the widest sense. First of all it is wide in the social sense because alongside the love poems and epics of the aristocracy there are to be found folk-tales, animal fables and other earthy items of peasant entertainment. It is comprehensive chronologically because the date of composition of these works ranges from about a. d. 600 to 1500, and this will comfortably embrace the extreme temporal limits of the Middle Ages by anyone’s definition. Most of all it is comprehensive in terms of the country and the language in which the work first appeared. Herein lies its supreme value. Not only does it demonstrate the unity of European poetic art but it puts at the disposal of the ordinary reader material which he could otherwise turn up only in books which are highly specialized, not easily accessible, and usually somewhat expensive.
Here are items from the far corners of Europe, from Sicily and Andalusia in the south, from Scandinavia in the north and from Ireland and Portugal in the west to Kiev in the east, not forgetting the middle where the work of troubadour and minne-singer is amply represented alongside the comic beast-epic of the Low Countries. This is not exclusively the compilation of continental Europe because the outlying islands of Ireland and Britain are also represented. The only’ major literary language omitted from the collection is English because all the English works of equal status with those included are easily accessible in such collections as Everyman’s Library.
Viewed academically the function of this book is to provide the student of Old and Middle English literature with the text of comparable works from foreign countries rendered into modern English. Viewed artistically this is probably the most enjoyable gathering of old poetry and easily the most original one to have appeared in English for some generations. The selection, arrangement and some of the translation is the work of Professor Angel Flores of Queen’s College, New York; the whole boasts the minimum of solemn introductory matter and is totally uncluttered by footnotes and similar dusty paraphernalia.”