Romance of the Rose


British Library MS Harley 4425 f. 7r (c. 1490-1500): the beginning of the dream…

1. The Roman de la Rose Digital Library (Johns Hopkins U & Bibliothèque Nationale de France). We will be referring to this site in class throughout the Rose part of this course.

2. The British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog > “Roman de la rose” search

3. A reader’s guide / map / plot summary (Per Nykrog, in French)

4. Reading-guides highlighting some key passages, from MDVL 302 “CRITICISM”: different course, topic, and angle of approach:

5. Chaucer, The Romaunt of the Rose (he did a partial translation/version)

  • 1911 illustrated ed. c/o Project Gutenberg and U of Toronto:
    online, PDF, assorted other file formats
  • the Riverside Chaucer, ed. Benson (3rd ed. 1987 & various subsequent reprints):
    This is the principal current edition. The printed version is in UBC and other Vancouver libraries, available in good bookstores, & second-hand copies easily obtainable (and cheap, albeit often because heavily used).
    An electronic version of this edition exists (1992), but alas, it is not free but by subscription, and UBC library does not have a licence for it. O’Brien promises to ask/beg/plead for UBC to buy it.

6. Some secondary reading:

  • the “Introduction” to your edition (ix-xxii)
  • Sarah Kay, The Romance of the Rose (London: Grant & Cutler, 1995): short (under 100 pages) and succinct
  • Sylvia Huot, The Romance of the Rose and its Medieval Readers (Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1993)
  • Sylvia Huot & Kevin Brownlee (eds.), Rethinking the Romance of the Rose: Text, Image, Reception (Philadelphia: U Pennsylvania P, 1992)
  • Much has been written about the Romance of the Rose. It was one of the most-read and most influential texts in medieval Europe, was one of the few medieval romances to be read continuously between then and now, and has been a regular subject of editions throughout post-medieval times (“modern,” post-modern, etc.). Here is a selection: Saint Louis University library research guide on the Rose
  • You are now part of this collective, community, and continuum of readers: welcome!
  • Here is a baker’s dozen of classic Rose scholar names to look out for if you are doing an MLA Bibliography search:
    Heather Arden
    Suzanne Akbari
    R. Howard Bloch
    Kevin Brownlee
    John V. Fleming
    David Hult
    Sylvia Huot
    Sarah Kay
    Douglas Kelly
    Sharon Kinoshita
    Stephen G. Nichols
    Lori Walters
    Michel Zink

… British Library Ms Harley 4425 again, f. 14v: in the company of fellow good readers