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Vol. 7 The Middle English Translation of Christine de Pisan’s Livre du corps de policie

Edited by Diane Bornstein (1977). Edition From MS C.U.L. Kk. 1.5

Christine de Pisan’s Livre du corps de policie, written between 1401 and 1407 as a guide for the education of princes, displays an interesting blend of humanism and chivalric idealism.  The mid-fifteenth-century translation into Middle English survives in a unique manuscript, and in two copies of John Skot’s printed edition of 1521.  It has a significant bearing on the study of the development of English prose during the fifteenth century:  despite strong influence of the French source in sentence structure, phrasing, and vocabulary, it is quite free in detail.  This practice suggests the deliberate cultivation of a courtly prose style based on French models. The present edition is the text of MS C.U.L., emended on the basis of the French and of Skot’s edition. All of Skot’s variants are given in the apparatus. The more important features of the translator’s techniques, and a hypothesis about his identity are discussed in the Introduction.

This volume is currently out of print.