A Medievalist in the Eighteenth Century: Le Grand d’Aussy by Geoffrey Wilson

By Geoffrey Wilson

It is a typical trust that during France the learn of medieval literature as literature purely started to achieve reputation as a sound career for the student in the course of the 19th century. it truly is popular that historians of the 16th, 17th and eighteenth centuries regarded to the literary productions of the center a long time for fabrics priceless to their researches, however it is simply lately that the striking frequency of this reference has been preferred and that students became conscious of an unbroken culture of what may perhaps most sensible be defined as traditionally ori ented medievalism stretching from the 16th century to our personal. The eighteenth century has drawn the best variety of curious to this box, for it really is obvious that the strangely vast researches undertaken then do a lot to provide an explanation for the growth made a century later via the main celebrated new release of medievalistst. Very slowly we're coming to determine the worth of the contribution made via little recognized schol­ ars like los angeles Curne de Sainte-Palaye, Etienne Barbazan and the Comte de Caylus.

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Is there no dichotomy? The question had obviously occurred to Le Grand himselffor he speaks of his natural bias as a man ofletters, convinced of his own shortcomings in other directions: Nous autres gens-de-lettres, trop futiles dans nos etudes, trop superficiels dans nos ecrits, nous prisons trop Ie coloris du style et point assez les connaissances de l'esprit. Les sayans ont Ie tort contraire. 11 nous manque, a nous, la culture; et a eux, l'ornement. Pour l'avantage des uns et des autres, 157 158 159 160 161 162 Idem, p.

De Roquefort's edition of the work (1815), vol. I, note to p. vi; also vol. III, note to p. 402. 128 P. xiii. 129 November 17 80. 130 Correspondance litteraire, philosophique et critique, adressee a un souverain d' Allemagne, depuis I770 jusqu'en I782, par Ie baron de Grimm et par Diderot, Paris (F. Buisson) 1812, vol. V, p. 209. The third volume of the Correspondance contains an article on a one-act verse comedy "d'un certain M. Legrand" entitled La Rupture au Ie Malentendu (pp. 315-316). THE LIFE AND WORK OF LE GRAND D'AUSSY 29 F.

History, geographical situation and geological structure, climate, agriculture and commerce, art and architecture, laws and customs, little of relevance goes without mention, including the physical and moral characteristics of the region'S inhabitants, and there is even an itinerary suggested for those who might like to follow in the author's footsteps and take the best possible advantage 140 141 First edition, p. 304. Second edition, vol. I, p. I. 1 42 But already this new field of inquiry is to be distinguished by its immense scope and flexibility.

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