Richard de Fournival’s Anonymous Lady: The Character of the Response to the Bestiaire d’amour
Romance Philology, 1989; Series: 42:3
Digital resource (JSTOR)
An anonymous response is appended to Richard de Fournival's Bestiaire d'amour in four of the extant MSS. The hypothesis that Richard himself might have been its author is unacceptable. Major stylistic differences and the neglect of all but one theme from Richard’s contrapuntal bestiary would be sufficient evidence even without the Response’s specific criticisms of Richard, which at times verge upon insult.
The MSS provide little information. While several name “maistre Richart/ Ricars de Fourniual” as the author of the Bestiatre d’amour (some, e.g., Bibl. mun. Dijon 526, adding the further title “canceliers d’ Amiens”), none contains any other designation than “la dame” for the author of the Response. The dating of the MSS, at best imprecise, is of little help. A terminus ante quem of 1252 can be posited for the Bestiaire d’amour since a version of the Miroir des dames (dedicated to Blanche of Castile, who died in 1252) contains a citation from it. The Response poses more problems, but it is established that the extant MSS which first contained it originated in the last two decades of the 13th century, and that they are merely derivatives of a lost original. - [Author]
Last update July 7, 2022