THE LAIS OF MARIE DE FRANCE: WEREWOVLES, HOT TUBS AND COURTLY LOVE IN TWELFTH CENTURY ENGLAND

T102



Tuesdays

1:30-3:00pm

BCC South County Center

S5

Great Barrington

1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18

Six Sessions












The lais of Marie de France stand in the vanguard of 12th-century Europe’s literary shift from heroic epics to courtly romance.  Her short verse narratives, set in the mists of Britain’s Celtic past, are peopled with shape-shifting lovers, fairy mistresses and werewolves--as well as more prosaic jealous husbands and unhappy wives. In a striking departure from gender roles typical in medieval tales, Marie assigns to her women the task of resolving the dilemmas inherent in courtly love triangles.  Masterful storytelling infused with perceptive insights into human nature make Marie’s lais as relevant today as they were eight hundred years ago.  And yes, there are hot tubs. 

Suggested reading:

The Lais of Marie de France: Text and Translation by Claire M Waters [Broadview Press, 2018]. This recent facing-page edition will be used in class.

Two reliable translations without facing-page French text are:

The Lais of Marie de France, Trans. Robert Hanning & Joan Ferrante [Labyrinth, 1982, reissued by Baker Academic, 1995]

The Lais of Marie de France, Trans. Glyn S. Burgess & Keith Busby [Penguin Classics, 1999]

Mary Rogers received an Honours A.B. in English & Philosophy from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in English from Seton Hall University, and an M.A. and A.B.D. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.  After a decade of teaching at Seton Hall University, she moved to the Berkshires and taught for a number of years at Monument Mountain Regional High School. She has received an NEH summer fellowship to study Arthurian literature at the University of Puget Sound.

prev  next



Click here to sign up for our free email newsletter, and don't miss out on our great programs!

OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | olli@berkshirecc.edu

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software