Andrea da Barberino and the Language of Chivalry

Gloria Allaire

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"A fundamental contribution [to] the understanding of one of the most prolific authors of chivalric literature in the fifteenth century. . . . It will remain the standard text. . . . Valuable not only for its interpretive analysis, but also as an example of how philological research should be conducted."--Massimo Ciavolella, University of Toronto

"Allaire’s style is simple, rigorous, and informative, yet without monotony. . . . A most enjoyable reading."--Maria Predelli, McGill University, Montreal

In the first definitive study of the work of Andrea da Barberino (c. 1371-1431), Gloria Allaire is a philological master-sleuth in search of the prolific but elusive Florentine medieval chivalric narrator whose place at the juncture between the early Boccaccio and the Renaissance masters Boiardo and Ariosto establishes him as a kind of Italian Chrétien de Troyes.
The result of exhaustive research and several important new discoveries, Allaire’s study is at the same time a groundbreaking approach to philological research. In it she argues for the attribution of two previously indeterminate chivalric romances, makes a new attribution for an unedited, highly original Rinaldo, and convincingly argues against Andrea’s authorship of Rambaldo. Moreover, her painstaking tracking of narrative and generic influences delineates a clear progression from Andrea to late medieval and early Renaissance masterpieces. The literary lineage also extends farther back: Andrea reworked a number of French epics and romances, and French medievalists will be interested to see later incarnations of texts well known to them.
While Andrea’s works are widely anthologized and recurrently the subject of journal articles, this is the first book-length volume to tackle his narrative art. It is sure to be of interest to medievalists, Italianists, specialists in romance linguistics, and anyone interested in watching the unfolding of an intricate and accomplished piece of philological detective work.

Gloria Allaire is visiting assistant professor of Italian at Ohio University, Athens. She has published articles in numerous journals including Italica, Lettere Italiane, Viator, and Scriptorium and is editor of the forthcoming Il Tristano panciatichiano: Text and Translation.

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"Andrea da Barberino and the Language of Chivalry offers the reader a wealth of linguistic, structural, and textual analysis that is literally unprecedented for this corpus. . . . [It] will give comparative medieval scholars -- historians and literary historians alike -- the information they need to arrive at an informed understanding of chivalry as an ideal and a practice in different times and places in medieval and early modern Europe." -- The Medieval Review The Medieval Review

"Allaire's book, which meticulously examines the corpus of Andrea da Barberino, contributes to a project that is a vital prerequisite to understanding the evolution of the chivalric code. . . . Andrea da Barberino and the Language of Chivalry offers the reader a wealth of linguistic, structural, and textual analysis that is literally unprecedented for this corpus. This book, and more books like it, will give comparative medieval scholars -- historians and literary historians alike -- the information they need to arrive at an informed understanding of chivalry as an ideal and a practice in different times and places in medieval and early modern Europe." -- Medieval Review Medieval Review

"Important work, well conceived and executed. . . . There is much here to stimulate future research." -- Notes and Queries Notes and Queries

"This substantial monograph stands as a testament to the scholarly erudition, painstaking bibliographical research, codicological expertise, and paleographical mastery of the author. . . . [A] remarkably well-focused study that argues persuasively -- on the basis of stylistic, linguistic, and narrative clues -- as to which texts should be included in Andrea's definitive corpus and which should be excluded." -- South Atlantic Review South Atlantic Review

"What is so impressive about this study is its thoroughness and meticulous preparation. Because of Allaire's extensive archival research and attention to detail she too recreates with great verisimilitude the storia of a man whose works serve as an important connection between medieval traditions of heroic storytelling and the Italian Renaissance epic." -Italian Culture Italian Culture

"Allaire sheds new light on an unfairly ignored author of the early Renaissance. By re-examining the manuscripts themselves, she is able to re-evaluate the scholarly opinion on Andrea da Barberino represents an important figure in the development of Italian literature." Quidditas

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