Lecture: Germaine Bree Lecture by Prof. Simon Gaunt (King’s College London)

Traditional literary histories tend to be centrifugal, tracing trajectories that move outwards from a strong and identifiable center towards peripheral zones. This lecture suggests an alternative history of medieval literature in French, one that is centripetal rather than centrifugal. Focusing initially on three key places and epochs in the development of literature in French outside France (England in the 1130s and 40s; Flanders in the 1200s; Italy in the late thirteenth century), this lecture will ask how the traditional cannon looks different when a more diverse geographical arena and a less Franco-centric optic is taken into account.