Open main menu

Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/729

This page needs to be proofread.
712
MARIE DE FRANCE

For a bibliographical study see: M. Tourneux, Marie Antoinette devant l'histoire. Essai bibliographique (2nd ed., Paris, 1901); id. Bibliogr. de la ville de Paris . . (vol. iv. 1906), nos. 20980-21338; also Bibliogr. de femmes célebres (Turin and Paris, 1892, &c.). The most important material for her life is to be found in her letters and in the correspondence of Mercy-Argenteau, but a. large number of forgeries have found their way into certain of the collections, such as those of Paul Vogt d'Hunolstein (Correspondence inédite de Marie Antoinette, (3rd ed., Paris, 1864), and F. Feuillet des Conches LouisXVI., Marie Antoinette et Madame Elisabeth, lettres et documents inédits (6 vols., Paris, 1864-1873), while most of the works on Marie Antoinette published before the appearance of Arneth's publications (1865, &c.) are based partly on these forgeries. For a detailed examination of the question of the authenticity of the letters see the introduction to Lettres de Marie Antoinette. Recueil des lettres authentiques de la reine, publié pour la société d'histoire contemporaine, par M. de la Rocheterie et le marquis de Beaucourt (2 vols., Paris, 1895-1896); also A. Geffroy, Gustave III. et la cour de France (2 vols., Paris, 1869), vol. ii., appendix. Of the highest importance are the letters from the archives of Vienna published by 'Alfred von Arneth and others: A. von Arneth, Maria Theresia und Marie Antoinette, ihr Briefwechsel 1770-1780 (Paris and Vienna, 1865); id., Marie Antoinette, -Joseph II. und Leopold II. ihr Briefwechsel (Leipzig, Paris and Vienna, 1866); id. and A. Gefiroy, Correspondance secrete de Marie-Thérese et du comte de Mercy-A rgenteau (3 vols., Paris, 1874); id. and Flammermont, Correspondance secrete du comte de Mercy-Argenteau avec Joseph II. et le prince de Kaunitz (2 vols., Paris, 1889-1891); for further letters see Comte de Reiset, Lettres de la reine Marie Antoinette d la land grave Louise de Hesse-Darmstadt (1865); id. Lettres inédites de Marie Antoinette et de Marie-Clotilde, reine de Sardaigne (1877). See also Correspondance entre le comte de Mirabeau et le cornte de la Marck,178g»1791, recueillie . . . par F. de Bacourt (3 vols., Paris, 1857), and Baron R. M. de Klinckowstrom, Le Comte de Fersen et la cour de France (2 vols., Paris, 1877-1878). Memoirs: See most contemporary memoirs, e.g. those of the prince de Ligne, Choiseul, Ségur, Bouillé, Dumouriez, &c. Some, such as those of Madame Campan, Weber, Cléry, Mme de Tourzel, are prejudiced in her favour; others, such as those of Besenval, Lauzun, Soulavie, are equally pre]udiced against her. M. Tourneux (op. cit.) discusses the authenticity of the memoirs of Tilly, Cléry, Lauzun, &c. Thechief of these memoirs are: Mme Campan, Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie Antoinette (5th ed., 2 vols., Paris, 1823, Eng. trans. 1887), the inaccuracy of which is clearly demonstrated by J. Flammermont in Etudes critiques sur les sources de l'histoire du xviii' siecle: Les Mémoires de Mme Campan, in the Bulletin de la Faculté des lettres de Paitiers (4th year, 1886, pp. 56, 109); ]. Weber, Mémoires concern ant Marie Antoinette (3 vols., London, 1804-1809; Eng. trans., 3 vols., London, 1805-1806); Mérnoires de M. le baron de Besenoal (3 vols., Paris, 1805); Mémoires de M. le duo de Lauzun (2nd ed., 2 vols., Paris, 1822); E. Bavoux, Méms. secrets de J. M. Augeard, secrétaire des cornmandements de la reine M. Antoinette (Paris, 1866); Mme Vigée-Le-Brun, Mes souvenirs (2 vols., Paris, 1867); Mémoires de Mme la duchesse de Tourzel, ed. by the duc de Cars (2 vols., Paris, 1883); Mémoires de la baronne d'Oberkirch (2 vols., Paris, 1853).

General Works:-See the general works on the period and on Louis XVI., and bibliographies to articles LOUIS XVI. and FRENCH REVOLUTION. A. Sorel, L'Europe et la Réo. fr. (ii. passirn) contains a good estimate of Marie Antoinette. See also E. and ]. de Goncourt, Histoire de Marie Antoinette (Paris, 1859); P. de Nolhac, Illarie Antoinette, dauphine (Paris, 1897); id. La Reine Illarie Antoinette (8th ed., 1898), which gives good descriptions of Versailles, Trianon, &c.; M. de la Rocheterie, Histoire de Marie Antoinette (2 vols., Paris, 1890); A. L. Bicknell, The Story of Marie Antoinette; R. Prolss, Konigin Marie Antoinette, Bilder aus ihrem Leben (Leipzig, 1894); G. Desjardins, Le Petit-Trianon (Versailles, 1885). For her trial and death, see E. Campardon, Marie Antoinette d la Conciergerie (1863). H. Belloc's Marie Antoinette (London, 1909) is very biassed and sometimes misleading.}}


MARIE DE FRANCE (fl. c. 1175-IIQO), French poet and fabulist. In the introduction (c. 1240) to his Vie Seint Edmund le Reyl Denis Pyramus says she was one of the most popular of authors with counts, barons and knights, but especially With ladies. She is also mentioned by the anonymous author of the Couronnement Renart. Her lays were translated into Norwegian by order of Haakon IV.; and Thomas Chestre, who is generally supposed to have lived in the reign of Henry VI., gave a version of Lan'val.3 Very little is known about her history, and until comparatively recently the very century in which she lived remained a matter of dispute. In spite of her own statement in the epilogue to her fables: “ Marie ai num, si suis de Cotton MS. Domit. A xi. (British Museum), edited for the Rolls Series by Thomas Arnold in 1892.

Edited by R. Keyser and C. R. Unger as Strengleikar eiia Lio?5abok (Christiania, 1850).

Chestre's Sir Launfal .was printed by ]. Ritson in Ancient English Metrical Romances (1802); and by L. Erling (Kempten, 1883). France, ” generally interpreted to mean that Marie was a native of the Ile de France, she seems to have been of Norman origin, and certainly spent most of her life in England. Her language, however, shows little trace of Anglo-Norman provincialism. Like Wace, she used a literary dialect which probably differed very widely from common Norman speech. The manuscripts in which Marie's poems are preserved date from the late 13th or even the I4th century, but the language fixes the date of the poems in the second half of the 12th century. The Lois are dedicated to an unknown king, who is identified as Henry II. of England; and the fables, her Y sopet, were written according to the Epilogus for a Cou nt William, generally recognized to be William Longsword, earl of Salisbury. The author of Couronnement Renart, says that Marie had dedicated her poem to the count William to whom the unknown poet addresses himself. This is William of Dampierre (d. 1251), the husband of the Countess Margaret of Flanders, and his identification with Marie's count William is almost certainly an error. Marie lived and wrote at the court of Henry II., which was very literary and purely French. Queen Eleanor was a Provengal, and belonged to a family in which the patronage of poetry was a tradition. There is no evidence to show whether Marie was of noble origin or simply pursued the profession of a trouoére for her living.

The origin of the lais has been the subject of much discussion. Marie herself says that she had heard them sung by Breton minstrels. It seems probable that it is the lesser or French Brittany from which the stories were derived, though something may be due to Welsh and Cornish sources. Gaston Paris (Romania, vol. xv.) maintained that Marie had heard the stories from English minstrels, who had assimilated the Celtic legends. In any case the Breton lays offer abundant evidence of traditions from Scandinavian and Oriental sources. The Guigeinar of Marie de France presents marked analogies with the ordinary Oriental romance of escape from a harem, for instance, with details superadded from classical mythology. Marie seems to have contented herself with giving new literary form to the stories she heard by turning them into Norman octosyllabic Verse, and apparently made few radical changes from her originals. Joseph Bédier thinks that the lays of the Breton minstrels were prose recitals interspersed with short lyrics something after the manner of the cante-fable of Aucassin et Nicolette. Marie's task was to give these cante-fables a narrative form destined to be read rather than sung or recited.

The Lais which may be definitely attributed to Marie are: Guigerrtar, Eguitan, Le Fréne, Le Bisclavret (the werewolf), Les Deux amants, Laustic, Chaitivel, 'Lan11al, Le Cheorefeuille, Milon, Yonec and Eliduc. The other similar lays are anonymous except the Lai d'Ignaure by Renant and the Lai du cor of Robert Biket, two authors otherwise unknown. They vary in length from some twelve thousand lines to about a hundred. Le Chevrefeuille, a short episode of the Tristan story, telling how Tristan makes known his presence in the wood to Iseult, is the best known of them all. Laustic (Le Rossignol) is almost as short and simple. In Yonec a mysterious bird visits the lady kept in durance by an old husband, and is turned 1nto a valiant knight. The lover is killed by the husband, but in due time is avenged by his son. The scene of the story is partly laid in Chester, but the fable in slightly different forms occurs in the folk-lore of many c0untries.5 Lanvals is a fairy story, and the hero vanishes eventually with his fairy princess to the island of Avallon or Avilion. Eliduc is more elaborately planned than any of these, and the action is divided between Exeter and Brittany. Here again the story of the man with two brides is not new, but the three characters of the story are so dealt with that each wins the reader's sympathy. The resignation of the wife of Eliduc and her reception of the new bride find a parallel in another of the lays, “The soi-disant Breton folk-song “ Ann Eostik ” on the same subject translated by La Villemarque in his Barzaz-Breiz (1840) is rejected by c0mpetent authorities. Similar stories in which the nightingale is slain by an angry husband occur in Renard contrefait and in the Gesta Romanorum.

5 Cf. the Oiseau bleu of Mme d'Aulnoy.

° Sir Lambewell in Bishop Percy's Folio MS. (ed. Hales and Furnivall, vol. ii., 1867), is another version of Lanval, and differs from Chestre's. For the relations between Lanval and the Lai de Graelent, wrongly ascribed to Marie by Roquefort, see W. H. Schofield, “The Lays of Graelent and Lanval, and the story of Wayland ” in the Publications of the Mod. Lang. Assoc. of America, vol. xv. (Baltimore, 1900).