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Title: Text & image in René d'Anjou's "Livre des tournois", c. 1460 : constructing authority and identity in fifteenth-century court culture : presented with a critical edition of BnF, ms. français 2695
Author: Sturgeon, Justin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 6330
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis addresses René d'Anjou's "Livre des tournois" as a holistic product of late-medieval court culture. It argues that the work can only be decoded when text and image are considered as inseparable mutually exegetic components. This thesis adopts an interdisciplinary methodology and draws on a diverse range of visual, historical, material and literary sources. The structure is based on a series of focussed case studies into aspects of the "Livre des tournois" that have been understudied or are in need of reconsideration. Chapter 1 explores the relationship between the work's images and text and the impact on the author's identity as an authority on the subject. Chapter 2 scrutinises the use and depiction of heraldry essential to the construction of a visual narrative within the work. Chapter 3 addresses the heralds' duties and how these roles compare to the precedents found in late-medieval tournament and court culture. Chapter 4 examines René's influences and sources by focussing on the similarities between the form of tournament described and historic precedents related to the combat, location, participants and equipment. Chapter 5 utilises spatial and ritual theories to engage with a series of spectacles surrounding the punishment and review of the tourneyers in relation to group identity. Chapter 6 analyses the codicological, textual and visual evidence from all eight known medieval manuscript copies and demonstrates a revised understanding of the provenance and transmission of the work, before scrutinising the reception of two copies in detail. The conclusion draws together threads of identity, authority and the importance of the book as a product of the culture and circumstances of its production. A series of appendices support this thesis, including a scholarly edition of BnF, ms. fr. 2695, a revised stemma, and comparative tables of the codicological data of all extant manuscript copies.
Supervisor: Nuechterlein, Jeanne ; Taylor, Craig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available