This translation, first published in 1992, presents one of the most memorable poems of the ‘romance’ genre of medieval literature, largely because it contains a number of surprises and falsified expectations.
Jaufre, the hero, arrives at the court of King Arthur with a total and naïve faith in the King and his ability to effect a total transformation in his followers by inducting them into the order of knighthood. As his quest proceeds, he learns the mistake in his over-idealised view of chivalry and his uncompromising view of pure justice, untempered by mercy. By charting the choices Jaufre makes in military and amorous encounters and the effectiveness of his responses to social trials and temptations, the audience discerns the route to independent adulthood, prestige and virtue, as the poet conceives of them. This fascinating reissue will be of particular value to students and academics researching the concepts typically explored within medieval ballads and romances.