Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England

The Iconographic Evidence

Kenneth Varty

Reynard, Renart, Reinaert and Other Foxes in Medieval England
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Kenneth Varty

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

334 pages | richly illustrated | 6-3/4 x 9-1/2 | © 1999
Cloth $54.00 ISBN: 9789053563755 Published June 1999 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Struck by the richness of medieval animal epic on the Continent and its paucity in England until Caxton's translation from the Dutch, the author went in search of iconographic evidence of that epic in pre-Caxton England. His findings constitute a new study of the illustration of English fox lore and Reynard the Fox stories during the Middle Ages. The book also includes a brief survey of developments in post-medieval times.

It emerges that the fictional foxes of England may have descended from French Renarts, who later assimilated traits of Dutch Reinaerts. With over 250 illustrations, many of recently discovered material, the book is divided into sections dealing with typical episodes (e.g. the fox's trial for rape, his "death" and "resurrection") as well as the ongoing fortunes of Wynkyn de Worde's 1495 cycle of woodcuts, which were clearly inspired by those of the Haarlem Master.
List of Illustrations
1.  The Fox and the Cock
2.  The Fox-Preacher and Religious
3.  The Trial of the Fox for Adultery and Rape: The Tribulations of a Bear, a Cat, and a Village Priest
4.  The Fox's Death and Resurrection
5.  The Fox and the Wolf in the Well
6.  The Fox-Devil
7.  The Fox-Physician and the Lion-Patient
8.  Teh Fox and the Ape
9.  The Fabulists' Fox
10.  The Fox's Triumph
11.  The Enduring Fortunes of Wynkyn de Worde's Picture Cycle
Appendix 1.  Drawings and Paintings of Foxes in manuscripts kept in Britain, together with some of English origin kept abroad
Appendix 2.  Carvings and Paintings of Foxes in Buildings
Appendix 3.  A Short-Title List of All Extant Illustrated Histories of Reynard the Fox from Wynkyn de Worde (c. 1495) to A Soulby (c. 1800) which are kept in United Kingdom libraries based on H. Menke, Bibliotheca Reinardiana
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