Courtly love is the name given to a set of conventions which are expressed in the poetic literature which appeared in Aquitaine, in south-west France, in the early twelfth century and then became pervasive in Europe for nearly two hundred years. Generally such poetry expressed the admiration of an aristocratic lover for a chaste but unobtainable lady.
[See also Troubadours.] Vernacular courtly love poetry appeared without any apparent precedent in the works of Guilhelm de Peitieu (le Neuf), or Duke William IX of Aquitaine (1071-1127), the first Occitan troubadour poet. The earliest of his verses that survives is a rather …
Classen, Albrecht. "Courtly Love [Amour courtois]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1378, accessed 07 December 2016.]