, Volume 99, Issue 4, pp 685–696 | Cite as

Making a Difference: Bilingualism and Re-creation in Charles d’Orléans

  • Anne L. KlinckEmail author


In the course of his 25-year captivity in England during the Hundred Years War, Charles duc d’Orléans produced two similar sequences of lyric poetry, purporting to be a reflection of his romantic life, his suffering after the death of his first love, and his eventual finding of a second love. One sequence is written in French, preserved in Charles’ autograph manuscript (Paris BN fr. 25458), and one in English (in London BL Harley 682). One assumes that the French poems were directed at Charles’ French, the English at his English public. But, since the now English-speaking upper class at this period usually knew French well, the impetus behind the English version cannot have been a need to make the inaccessible accessible. Attention to some highly interesting differences between Charles’ French and English poems, and also to his own words about his craft, provides a possible explanation of what that impetus might be.


Fifteenth century Medieval poetry Charles d’Orleans Translation between French and English Self-translation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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