Didactic Literature

This is the most considerable, if not the most interesting, branch of Anglo-Norman literature: it comprises a large number of works written chiefly with the object of giving both religious and profane instruction to Anglo-Norman lords and ladies. The following list gives the most important productions arranged in chronological order: -

Philippe de Thaun, Comput, c. 1119 (edited by E. Mall, Strassburg, 1873), poem on the calendar; Bestiaire, c. 1130 (ed. by E. Walberg, Paris, 1900; cf. G. Paris, Rom. xxxi. 175); Lois de Guillaume le Conquérant (redaction between 1150 and 1170, ed. by J. E. Matzke, Paris, 1899); Oxford Psalter, c. 1150 (Fr. Michel, Libri Psalmorum versio antiqua gallica, Oxford, 1860); Cambridge Psalter, c. 1160 (Fr. Michel, Le Livre des Psaumes, Paris, 1877); London Psalter, same as Oxford Psalter (cf. Beyer, Zt. f. rom. Phil. xi. 513-534; xii. 1-56); Disticha Catonis, translated by Everard de Kirkham and Elie de Winchester (Stengel, Ausg. u. Abhandlungen); Le Roman de fortune, summary of Boetius' De consolatione philosophiae, by Simon de Fresne (Hist. lit. xxviii. 408); Quatre livres des rois, translated into French in the 12th century, and imitated in England soon after (P. Schlösser, Die Lautverhältnisse der quatre livres des rois, Bonn, 1886; Romania, xvii. 124); Donnei des Amanz,, the conversation of two lovers, overheard and carefully noted by the poet, of a purely didactic character, in which are included three interesting pieces, the first being an episode of the story of Tristram, the second a fable, L'homme et le serpent, the third a tale, L'homme et l'oiseau, which is the basis of the celebrated Lai de l'oiselet (Rom. xxv. 497); Livre des Sibiles (1160); Enseignements Trebor, by Robert de Ho (=Hoo, Kent, on the left bank of the Medway) [edited by Mary Vance Young, Paris; Picard, 101; cf.

G. Paris, Rom. xxxii. 141]; Lapidaire de Cambridge (Pannier, Les Lapidaires français); Frére Angier de Ste. Frideswide, Dialogues, 29th of November 1212 (Rom. xii. 145-208, and xxix.; M. K. Pope, étude sur la langue de Frère Angier, Paris, 1903); Li dialoge Grégoire le pape, ed. by Foerster, 1876; Petit Plet, by Chardri, c. 1216 (Koch, Altfr Bibliothek. i., and Mussafia, Z. f. r. P. iii. 591); Petite philosophie, c. 1225 (Rom. xv. 356; xxix. 72); Histoire de Marie et de Jésus (Rom. xvi. 248-262); Poème sur l'Ancien Testament (Not. et Extr. xxxiv. 1, 210; Soc. Anc. Textes, 1889, 73-74); Le Corset and Le Miroir, by Robert de Gretham (Rom. vii. 345; xv. 296); Lumière as Lais, by Pierre de Peckham, c. 1250 (Rom. xv. 287); an Anglo-Norman redaction of Image du monde, c. 1250 (Rom. xxi. 481); two Anglo-Norman versions of Quatre soeurs (Justice, Truth, Peace, Mercy), 13th century (ed. by Fr. Michel, Psautier d'Oxford, pp. 364-368, Bulletin Soc. Anc. Textes, 1886, 57, Romania, xv. 352); another Comput by Raüf de Lenham, 1256 (P. Meyer, Archives des missions, 2nd series iv. 154 and 160-164; Rom. xv. 285); Le chastel d'amors, by Robert Grosseteste or Greathead, bishop of Lincoln († 1253) [ed. by Cooke, Carmina Anglo-Normannica, 1852, Caxton Society]; Poème sur l'amour de Dieu et sur la haine du péché, 13th century, second part (Rom. xxix. 5); Le mariage des neuf filles du diable (Rom. xxix. 54); Ditie d' Urbain, attributed without any foundation to Henry I. (P. Meyer, Bulletin Soc. Anc. Textes, 1880, p. 73 and Romania xxxii, 68); Dialogue de l'évêque Saint Julien et son disciple (Rom. xxix. 21); Poème sur l'antichrist et le jugement dernier, by Henri d'Arci (Rom. xxix. 78; Not. et.

Extr. 35, i. 137). Wilham de Waddington produced at the end of the 13th century his Manuel des péchés, which was adapted in England by Robert of Brunne in his Handlying Sinne (1303) [Hist. lit. xxviii. 179-207; Rom. xxix. 5, 47-53]; see Furnivall,Robert of Brunne's Handlying Synne (Roxb. Club, 1862); in the 14th century we find Nicole Bozon's Contes moralisés (see above); Traité de naturesse (Rom. xiii. 508); Sermons in verse (P. Meyer, op. cit. xlv.); Proverbes de bon enseignement (op. cit. xlvi.). We have also a few handbooks on the teaching of French. Gautier de Biblesworth wrote such a treatise à Madame Dyonise de Mountechensi pur aprise de langage (Wright, A Volume of Vocabularies; P. Meyer, Rec. d'anc. textes, p. 360 and Romania xxxii, 22); Orthographia gallica (Sturzinger, Altfr. Bibl. 1884); La manière de language, written in 1396 (P. Meyer, Rev. crit. d'hist. et de litt. nos. compl. de 1870); Un petit livre pour enseigner les enfants de leur entreparler comun françois, c. 1399 (Stengel, Z. für n.f. Spr. u.

Litt. i. 11). The important Mirour de l'omme, by John Gower, contains about 30,000 lines written in very good French at the end of the 14th century (Macaulay, The Complete Works of John Gower, i., Oxford, 1899).