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The Tournament and Literature

Literary Representations of the Medieval Tournament in Old French Works, 1150-1226

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Mary Arlene Santina

Beautiful ladies, dashing chevaliers, injuries, and death; how were these part of the literary tournament? This schematic analysis examines these and numerous other aspects of the knightly tournament as they were presented in works of the late twelfth to early thirteenth centuries, and also identifies the role the tournament played in the literature of the day. This analysis of Old French narratives views the sport in its infancy, and in the process reveals contrasts with the more colorful and better-known tournament of the fifteenth century.