Renaissance Romance

(5295 words)
  • Nandini Das (University of Liverpool)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.


The earliest examples of romance in mid-twelfth century France emerged from a wish to retrieve stories from the past and retell them “en romanz”, that is, as vernacular narratives in languages such as French that all would be able to understand, as opposed to scholarly Latin. These early romances cover a striking range of themes and material. The romans d’antiquité or matter of Rome gave new form and voice to classical epics and legends, the matter of France and England offered the chivalric adventures of Charlemagne, Arthur and their knights, and stories like Horn, Havelock, Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton provided exemplars of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Das, Nandini. "Renaissance Romance". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 May 2008
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Renaissance and Humanism
  2. Literary Genres and Modes