Melusine of Lusignan
Founding Fiction in Late Medieval France

Edited by Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox

This volume of original essays is the first collection devoted to the monumental Roman de Melusine (1393) by Jean d'Arras. A masterwork of late fourteenth-century French prose fiction, Melusine tells of the powerful medieval dynasty of Lusignan from its founding as a city by the legendary Melusine, an enigmatic fairy-figure subject to periodic monstrous transformations, through its expansion in Europe and the Near East, to its ultimate evanescence.

Melusine offers a singular blend of history and fiction as it upholds the proprietary claims to Lusignan of the work's illustrious patron, Jean, Duc de Berry. The great deeds of Melusine, her forebears, and her progeny unfold in a narrative that blends elements of myth, folklore, and popular traditions with epic, Crusade narrative, romance, and theological doctrine.

Advancing a wealth of new material and fresh insight, the essays in this volume address the complex interplay of the conventions of medieval fictional, historical, and genealogical writing from a wide variety of critical perspectives. Together, they offer a new, more balanced and comprehensive understanding of one of the most significant literary works of late medieval European culture.

Page count: 312 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 9


List price: $46.95

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Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox are professors of French and Italian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Both have written and edited a number of books on medieval literature, including in collaboration Froissart across the Genres, Literary Aspects of Courtly Culture, and a forthcoming translation, the first in modern English, of the Roman de Melusine.