From medieval realism to modern fantasy: Guerrino Meschino through the centuries

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A largely original creation along the lines of an Old French chanson de geste, but infused with certain elements from Breton romance, Guerrino Meschino was composed by the Florentine Andrea da Barberino sometime between 1406 and 1431. Although the content of the first and last of Guerrino’s eight lengthy Books is rather conventional, the inner Books represent a unique synthesis of material from well-known medieval legends such as Prester John, the Alexander Romance, the Sibyl’s cave and Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. The medieval protagonist Guerrino had originally represented royal lineage and feudal loyalties as reinterpreted anachronistically through the eyes of nouveau riche Florentines who consciously emulated the old aristocracy. The author of the Cambridge manuscript, Jean de Rochemeure, was rather free in his use of amplification, and oscillated between slavishly ‘correct’ translation and interpolating passages in his own voice according to his own narrative intent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModern Retellings of Chivalric Texts
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429830709
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Gloria Allaire and the contributors, 1999.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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