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Le Bone Florence of Rome
A Critical Edition and Facing Translation of a Middle English Romance Analogous to Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale
Le Bone Florence of Rome is a Middle English tail-rhyme romance whose unique copy dates to the late fifteenth century. An analogue of Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale, it follows the adventures of a heroine who survives multiple exiles, sexual harassments and false accusations. At the same time, it explores such issues as the abuse of power, the stakes of global conflict, women's place in society and their control over their destiny, all of which are treated in significantly different ways from the Constance story and other medieval tales of calumniated women. This fresh edition is accompanied by a complete line-by-line translation, which makes this text accessible to readers at all levels. Its introduction offers a comprehensive analysis of the themes, ideologies and literary relationships of the romance, together with new insights into its local connections and a detailed description of its manuscript context.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Jonathan Stavsky's translation of Le Bone Florence of Rome makes a significant contribution to the growing body of Middle English literature being made available to a new reading audience. Featuring a protagonist of uncommon virtue who, like Custance of Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale, preserves her integrity in the face of overwhelming odds, the tale of Florence is nothing short of inspiring. Stavsky's edition is likely to encourage lively discussions not only of the cultural, social and political significance of this extraordinary tale, but of a woman's ability to set the highest standard possible for compassion and courage.' - Professor Eve Salisbury, Western Michigan University