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New book by Ramey on medieval poet

Professor Lynn Ramey’s book on influential 12th-century poet Jean Bodel is being published by the University of Florida Press. Jean Bodel: An Introduction explores the life and works of Jean Bodel, an influential author from twelfth-century Arras, France. Bodel’s versatility as a poet, playwright, and epic writer, along with his establishment of new genres such as fabliaux and the mystery play, highlight his significance in literary history. Despite his popularity, Bodel remains relatively unknown to Anglophone audiences. This is attributed to the division of medieval studies into separate linguistic or departmental realms, which disregards the widespread use of French as a courtly and literary language during that era. Delving into Bodel’s historical and cultural context, this book highlights the stimulating and cosmopolitan environment of twelfth-century Arras, taking into account the influence of the Crusades and social movements in shaping Bodel’s works. Bodel’s wide-ranging corpus distinguishes him from his contemporaries, encompassing lyric poetry, fabliaux, mystery plays, and an epic poem about Charlemagne. While much of the existing scholarship on Bodel is in French, this book bridges the accessibility gap by providing English translations of his works, allowing a wider audience to engage with his contributions.

Book keywords: Jean Bodel, medieval literature, twelfth-century Arras, fabliaux, drama, cultural history, comparative studies, English translations, Crusades