Satire

The popularity enjoyed by the Roman de Renart and the Anglo-Norman version of the Riote du Monde (Z. f. rom. Phil. viii. 275-289) in England is proof enough that the French spirit of satire was keenly appreciated. The clergy and the fair sex presented the most attractive target for the shots of the satirists. However, an Englishman raised his voice in favour of the ladies in a poem entitled La Bonté des dames (Meyer, Rom. xv. 315-339), and Nicole Bozon, after having represented "Pride" as a feminine being whom he supposes to be the daughter of Lucifer, and after having fiercely attacked the women of his day in the Char d'Orgueil (Rom. xiii. 516), also composed a Bounté des femmes (P. Meyer, op. cit. 33) in which he covers them with praise, commending their courtesy, their humility, their openness and the care with which they bring up their children. A few pieces of political satire show us French and English exchanging amenities on their mutual shortcomings. The Roman des Français, by André de Coutances, was written on the continent, and cannot be quoted as Anglo-Norman although it was composed before 1204 (cf. Gaston Paris: Trois versions rimées de l'évangile de Nicodème, Soc. Anc. Textes, 1885), it is a very spirited reply to French authors who had attacked the English.

Dramatic Literature

This must have had a considerable influence on the development of the sacred drama in England, but none of the French plays acted in England in the 12th and 13th centuries has been preserved. Adam, which is generally considered to be an Anglo-Norman mystery of the 12th century, was probably written in France at the beginning of the 13th century (Romania xxxii. 637), and the so-called Anglo-Norman Resurrection belongs also to continental French. It is necessary to state that the earliest English moralities seem to have been imitations of the French ones.

Bibliography

Apart from the works already mentioned see generally: Scheibner, "über die Herrschaft der frz. Sprache in England" (Annaberg, Progr. der Königlichen Realschule, 1880, 38 f.); Groeber, Grundr. der romanischen Philologie, ii. iii. (Strassburg, 1902); G. Paris, La Litt. fr. au moyen âge (1905); Esquisse historique de la litt. fr. au moyen âge (1907); La Litt. norm, avani l'annexion 912-1204 (Paris, 1899); "L'Esprit normand en Angleterre," La Poésie au moyen âge (2nd series 45-74, Paris, 1906); Thomas Wright, Biographia britannica literaria (Anglo-Norman period, London, 1846); Ten Brink, Geschichte der englischen Litteratur (Berlin, 1877, i. 2); J. J. Jusserand, Hist. litt. du peuple anglais (2nd ed. 1895, vol. i.); W. H. Schofield, English Literature from the Norman Conquest to Chaucer (London, 1906); Johan Vising, Franska Sprâket i England (Göteborg, 1900, 1901, 1902).

(L. Br.)