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Title: Attitudes to wealth in Old French didactic and courtly verse (1150-1300)
Author: Jordan, Wendy Ray
ISNI:       0000 0001 3593 1284
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis examines the attitudes to wealth as depicted in two contrasting literary genres: didactic verse sermons and courtly verse romances. A preliminary chapter briefly outlines the historical background, its relationship with contemporary literature and with the prominence of wealth as a literary theme. Part One, devoted to the didactic works, begins with an appraisal of the sources of the Old French attitudes to wealth, and of their mode of expression. Consideration follows of the treatment of avarice in medieval verse sermons. Thereafter the relationship between man and wealth is studied from two standpoints. Firstly man is viewed as a moral type, usually the evil rich man. Chapters Three and Four resume the opinions of the didactic poets on wealth and on man as a social type in all his different roles. Part Two, centred upon the courtly works, examines avarice as a literary topic, and goes on to consider the more dominant theme of courtly liberality. This leads to a careful analysis of the gift theme wherein are demonstrated the complexity and significance of giving and accepting gifts in courtly romance. A critical survey of attitudes to wealth embraces also attitudes towards poverty, and a study of the ways of amassing wealth includes the approved courtly remedies for poverty. Wealth is overshadowed only by the theme of love in the romances. Accordingly the thesis ends with a study of the conflicting attitudes to wealth in relation to love found in courtly society and in its heroes. The General Conclusion assesses how far the two literary genres differ and coincide regarding attitudes to wealth, and seeks to establish why.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Romance Literature