Aucassin and Nicolette, and other tales
Aucassin and Nicolette is one of the best-known and best-loved works in medieval literature. With its slightly foolish hero, and its brave and resourceful heroine, it is a work of unfailing freshness and charm. The four thirteenth-century tales chosen to accompany it in this volume represent the best from a rich period of French literature and an age that is surely one of the high points of civilization. Lying somewhere between the high-flown fantasies of the romance and the crudities of the fabliaux, they are characterized by their realism, their elegance and sophistication and, in some cases, by the beginnings of a psychological interest in human behaviour. Timeless in their essential subject-matter, they also give a fascinating and detailed picture of the remote society in which and for which they were written.