1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Houdenc, Raoul de

HOUDENC (or Houdan), RAOUL DE, 12th-century French trouvère, takes his name from his native place, generally identified with Houdain (Artois), though there are twelve places bearing the name in one or other of its numerous variants. It has been suggested that he was a monk, but from the scattered hints in his writings it seems more probable that he followed the trade of jongleur and recited his chansons, with small success apparently, in the houses of the great. He was well acquainted with Paris, and probably spent a great part of his life there. His undoubted works are: Le Songe d’enfer, La Voie de paradis, Le Roman des eles (pr. by A. Scheler in Trouvères belges, New Series, 1897) and the romance of Méraugis de Portlesguez, edited by M. Michelant (1869) and by Dr M. Friedwagner (Halle, 1897). Houdenc was an imitator of Chrétien de Troyes; and Huon de Méri, in his Tournoi de l’antéchrist (1226) praises him with Chrétien in words that seem to imply that both were dead. Méraugis de Portlesguez, the hero of which perhaps derives his name from Lesguez, the port of Saint Brieuc in Brittany, is a roman d’aventures loosely attached to the Arthurian cycle.

See Gaston Paris in Hist. litt. de la France, xxx. 220-237; W. Zingerlé, Über Raoul de Houdenc und seine Werke (Erlangen, 1880); and O. Boerner, Raoul de Houdenc. Eine stilistische Untersuchung (1885).