Retelling legends

Thomas, Roman de Horn
England, third quarter of the twelfth century

University Library, MS Ff.6.17, f. 43r
England, thirteenth century
Vellum, 165 x 120 mm (124 x 74 mm), III + 94 + III ff.

Written in the third quarter of the twelfth century by a cleric named Thomas, this French romance tells the story of Horn, a young English prince exiled from his kingdom, who after many wanderings between Great Britain, Ireland and Brittany finally regains the crown. The plot structure of Horn’s exile and return may ultimately descend from an Old English tradition, rather than from an Old French source, even though the French text is the earliest written literary attestation preserved. The poet reinterpreted the legend for a French-speaking courtly public, paying close attention to the love of the princess Rigmel for the young prince Horn. This manuscript entered the University Library collection sometime before 1851.

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