Chaucer's England Volume 1

Chaucer's England Volume 1

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1869 edition. Excerpt: ...even was familiar to men's minds. Hence there was nothing absurd or unreal to the fantasy of the times in the idea of a married woman giving virgin love to a man who was not her husband. But, apart from this, wherever vows are plentiful, casuistry begins (because life is a problem, not a theorem, and obligations cannot be infallibly chalked out beforehand); and wherever, as in the mediaeval lovecultus, vows cross each other's paths perpetually, the casuistry needs to become a science. Accordingly, we have, in the literature of mediaeval love, a jurisprudence of amour par amour; codes of laws for vowed knights and ladies; and courts of love, in which questions are debated and decided. We are not bound to believe the chronicler who tells us that the ladies who sat in these courts were always dressed in green (which, indeed, was the colour of jealousy), and wore golden necklaces or collars; much less that they were so highly perfumed that people who came too close were thrown into violent sneezing-fits. But, reviewing the literature of the subject, even Sir Charles Coldstream could hardly help admitting that there was something in it. A learned Frenchman, Eeynouard, maintained, as is well known, that the Courts of Love did actually exist; while Professor Diez, of Bonn, maintained that they did not. I incline to think that they did. It is not essential to believe, for example, that our own Eichard I. was ever the judge of such a court, or that the thing itself was at all commensurate with its literature, or that more than a fraction of the ' cases' had any existence out of the brains of the recorders of them. But, if we admit the existence of this lovecult, which we cannot help admitting, we find it hard to shut out anything so natural as the Court...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 76 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 154g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236542940
  • 9781236542946