"[Adam's] attempt to locate these romantic explorations of amor within the 12th-century's fascination with problematic love is laudable and instructive." - Encomia
Violent Passions: Managing Love in the Old French Verse Romance (Studies in Arthurian and Courtly Cultures Series)by Tracy Adams
Adams (French, U. of Aukland) finds that courtly love, far from being the acme of romantic affection, was in fact a disorder, and that the courtly romances were not developed to idealize women, either to their benefit or to their detriment, but instead to inform the public about the type of strong, steady and powerful love that would build solid and fruitful marriages. Using a variety of sources, she points out that the behaviors of the lovers in various works were not being held out as an ideal but instead for ridicule, as anomalous in societies beginning to seek or fully engaged in developing empires, and as dangerous in terms of the expectations of love within a stable marriage. She points out the changes in the nature of marriage at the time, and how that nature was changing from being primarily an aspect of domestic economy to a social force that had the power of determining the fates of coming generation; this world was no place for the courtly lovers wasting time and resources over an unattainable and probably inappropriate partner. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Meet the Author
Tracy Adams is Lecturer in French, University of Auckland.
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