Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance

Unknown Sarah Roche-Mahdi


Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance

Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance

  • Title: Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance
  • Author: Unknown Sarah Roche-Mahdi
  • ISBN: 9780937191323
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Unknown Binding



A facing page translation This bilingual edition, a parallel text in Old French and English, is based on a reexamination of the Old French manuscript, and makes Silence available to specialists and students in various fields of literature and women s studies The Roman de Silence, an Arthurian romance of the thirteenth century, tells of a girl raised as a boy, equally accA facing page translation This bilingual edition, a parallel text in Old French and English, is based on a reexamination of the Old French manuscript, and makes Silence available to specialists and students in various fields of literature and women s studies The Roman de Silence, an Arthurian romance of the thirteenth century, tells of a girl raised as a boy, equally accomplished as a minstrel and knight, whose final task, the capture of Merlin, leads to her unmasking.Glossary, Bibliography, Proper Name list, Notes B W Frontispiece illustration.


Recent Comments "Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance"

In a surprisingly modern twist, nurture overcomes nature in this thirteenth-century tale of a noble girl who is raised as a man and becomes an acclaimed knight.Silence is her parents' only child; rather than be without an heir they decide to disguise the baby as a male and raise her as they would a son. Her martial accomplishments win her to the admiration of all, including, to her misfortune, the lustful queen. When Silence perforce rebuffs the queen, the vengeful woman accuses her of attempted [...]

Silence is the story of a woman raised as a man, who becomes a minstrel and a knight, highly accomplished at everything he does. It plays out a conflict between Nature and Nurture. Though Nature seems to win at the end, it's ambiguous: she only does so through Merlin revealing Silence's identity. It's somewhat unsurprising that at that point in the poem, Silence loses all agency and the story grinds to a halt.As a story, it's a fun one -- it's an expansion of the kind of story told in part of th [...]

I feel like I have been looking for this story my entire life. The translation was a bit funny in places, but the story was awesome (except for the ending, maybe.)

Fabulous. An introspective hero in she/he identity crisis. Good fight scenes, good ethical debates; with a sidelight on the persecution of musicians, and a chatty authorial voice. Going for most fun medieval romance. A pity I can't enjoy the rhymed Old French, but at least you can see the original lines. These short Old French lines, as she explains, are hard to translate, as deceptively simple and succinct. Translation is adequate, probably -- and she even rhymes when she can. But this poor poe [...]

"But when the time comes to ask for something, do you know what you will find? Very bad cheer and a sour face, that's what you'll always get from them. You greedy, nasty, pretty people, this world is but a transitory place: you have so robbed it of all pleasure that there is no play or laughter any more.""Wealth only makes a man mean-spirited and makes him toil without profit. All he does is soil himself.""and goshawk more than molted falcon, and falcon more that stagnant water, and bittern more [...]

Update to link my character review, which includes my revised thoughts about the ending of the tale. **This version is translated a little too colloquially in parts for my taste, and not edited brilliantly, but that too can be forgiven, purely for the effort of bringing it to the public (though, noting this translation is not the only one available, it’s just the first I read). The original poem now lives at Nottingham University. Silence went unread and stored away for a long time before it w [...]

I was riveted, absolutely gobbled this up. This is romance in the only sense of the word that I can tolerate-battles, quests, intrigue, and adventure. However, what makes this sword wielding, lance shattering hero different is that he is a she Yes, even in the thirteenth century they were curious about nature vs. nurture. My favorite scene is the image of Silence armoring up for battle she is a jaw-dropping medieval creation. The ending was a bit irritating because I imagine once she is (inevita [...]

Super cool cross-dressing romance, A++ would read again.

Somewhat disappointed after the front/back-matter claims that this was well beyond its times in terms of gender roles and identity. Perhaps ahead of its time due to the amount of gender-swapping or confusion and its general focus on gender roles, but certainly not feminist in any sense. Silence's gender identity is exclusively controlled by men (first her father, whose secret she is willing to maintain even under threat of death to avoid dishonoring him, and then Merlin, who unilaterally decides [...]

One of the most fun pieces of medieval literature I've ever read and the most shockingly contemporary. Definitely the silver lining in an otherwise boring syllabus.

i read this for a class idk. i rlly liked how, despite having no language for transness, silence (the character) articulates the dysphoria (as we'd now call it) of simultaneously feeling like ze's failed as a member of hir assigned gender + feeling inadequate/unnatural as a member of the gender ze presents as. i also really enjoyed reading the debates between the personifications of nature and nurture and also really liked those two characters as ways of expressing dysphoria too.

This is a 13th century romance written in Old French. It was discovered only in the last century in a box of old papers marked "No value."Silence is the story of a girl born into an aristocratic family who is raised as a boy so that she can inherit her parents' property when they die. She is raised in almost complete isolation from society, but eventually makes her way to the outside world (including France and England) and becomes successful as both a jongleur (traveling musician) and a knight. [...]

Silence is a wonderful story, but the translation is horrible. The book was full of typos and it was repetetive to the point of being annoying. I was hesitant to finish reading it and remained on page 73 for a very long time, because let me tell you (as the author would say) Cador and Eufemie kissed and kissed and kissed, so long in fact, that you could have walked a mile in the time. This kissing scenario, goes on for two or three pages. The original author often says that he is not going to te [...]

(too old to rate) Silence is a very odd duck. At first glance it would appear to be a feminist medieval scholar's wet dream: a girl is raised as a boy, becomes a knight, and basicall kicks everyone's ass. And from that perspective it is pretty interesting, and reflects a perspective on gender that one doesn't usually associate with the Middle Ages. There are times, oddly enough, when the author even seems to forget his protagonist is female. But there are also attempts to undercut the transgress [...]

This is a fascinating story from the thirteenth century about a girl whose parents raise her as a boy so that she can inherit. Wonderful dialogue between Nature and Nurture (characters who pop up occasionally to argue over Silence), and amazing commentary on the social constructs of gender roles. From nearly 800 years ago!!!NB: I wasn't crazy about this translation, though I can't read Old French (or New French, for that matter). However, the translator's determination to render it into modern E [...]

Narrative of a girl raised as a boy so that she may inherit property. The strange part is that while the book has a very positive feminist perspective, the story is peppered with commentary on the general depravity of women. The main character (boy-girl named Silence) is about as heroic as a person could be. She even captures Merlin. That said, the other lead female is a degenerate. The last third of the book is really remarkable. It's a wonderful story -- hard to imagine it being written in the [...]

This is a really fun story to read and surprisingly modern in some of its views, given when it was written (some speculate that it could be a complex hoax because of this). In any event, Silence tells the story of a girl disguised as a boy who becomes the best knight and minstrel in the land, among other things. Another fun aspect of this is its central debate over whether nature or nurture is more powerful. Obviously, we still haven't figured that one out, so it's neat to see what people may ha [...]

A 13th century French Romance about a lady knight who must keep her sex a secret. The open-facing translation is wonderful if you have any French (the poem has a proper rhyme scheme in old French, and is really musical), and the story is packed with indulgent drama; I not only found it very readable (which I didn't expect from such an old text), but enjoyed it tremendously.

INCREDIBLE. Amazing story made even more awesome by a translation that uses modern idioms (adds a bit of comedy) and by the fact that this is a novel from the 14th(ish) century, preserved through time in a random box that they had labeled "Unimportant documents", which also included a letter by King Henry VIII. It wasn't found until 1911. Wow. Just wow.

Although the text is full of errors and the story is a boring at times, I really enjoyed it. I had to read this book for my senior capstone course that focused on Medieval literature. I am not a fan of Medieval lit, but found this text an interesting feminist text. I wrote my senior thesis on Silence.

What more can one ask for in a 13th century Romance but a cross-dressing female hero named Silence? This is an amazing text that asks some very modern questions and wrestles particularly with that universal battle between Nature and Nurture.

One of the most enchanting, breathtaking, and unexpected Medieval Romances ever written. A "must" read for all fellow medievalists!

A story written in prose of a woman raised as a man to keep her inheritance. A very fun read. I enjoyed it!

Love it! Not only is it a great story but you can talk about the various apsects of this story forever - makes great conversation.

Hard to believe this was written over 700 years ago. Very progressive for the thirteenth century.

I'm conflicted because I enjoyed the story very much but the snide comments about women sprinkled throughout the story was really annoying. I wish there was a 3.5 star rating.

A really lovely ancient poem.

A wonderful Arthurian romance. I had to read this for a class in college and actually couldn't put it down. I wish I could read French well enough to read the original version as well.

Such a fun medieval gender bender

One of the first known texts to challenge gender and sexuality in a feminist light. My favorite piece of medieval literature.


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  • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Unknown Sarah Roche-Mahdi] ä Silence: A Thirteenth-Century French Romance || [Memoir Book] PDF ↠
    Posted by:Unknown Sarah Roche-Mahdi
    Published :2018-09-05T16:28:31+00:00