Chivalry and Exploration 1298-1630.Jennifer R. Goodman. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1998. vii + 4 pls. + 234 pp. $63. ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m : 0-85115-700-9.
Jennifer R. Goodman's aim in this book is twofold. Firstly, she intends to "rehabilitate" chivalric chi·val·ric
Of or relating to chivalry.
Adj. 1. chivalric - characteristic of the time of chivalry and knighthood in the Middle Ages; "chivalric rites"; "the knightly years"
knightly, medieval fiction, a genre that is all too often ignored or dismissed by literary scholars. Secondly, her aim is to examine the influence of chivalric fiction on the ethics of medieval and Renaissance European explorers and conquistadores, especially those who composed their own narratives of exploration.
The book is divided into two parts, framed by an introduction and a conclusion. Part 1, entitled "Chivalric Literature in an Age of Exploration," consists of two chapters. Chapter 1 ("Towards the Rediscovery of a Literature") provides an overview of the most influential works of chivalric fiction in the Middle Ages, most of which, as Goodman points out, are Spanish and Catalan texts. Chapter 2 ("The Romance as an Imaginative Literature of Travel") lays the ground work for part 2 of the book. In this chapter Goodman examines the geographic scope and exotic scenery of chivalric romance. She then discusses certain themes of chivalric fiction, including morality, the themes of crusade and conversion, and a variety of recurring plot structures. All of these themes, she observes, play an important role in the development of the supposed factual exploration narratives that flourished alongside chivalric romance.
Part 2 of Chivalry and Exploration, entitled "Exploration and Chivalry: Case Studies," is a satisfying read because of the diversity of texts discussed. The case studies occupy chapters 3-8 and are arranged in chronological order. They include well-known texts, such as The Book of Marco Polo and the Compilation of Rustichello da Pisa Rustichello da Pisa (fl. late 13th century) was an Italian romance writer best known for cowriting Marco Polo's autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa. He had been captured by the Genoese at the Battle of Meloria in 1284, amid a conflict between the Republic of (chap. 3), and Hernan Cortes' Letters (chap. 6). Other case studies are lesser-known works, such as Le Canarien, the chronicle of a French expedition to the Canary Islands in 1402, led by Gadifer de la Salle Gadifer De La Salle (1340 in Sainte-Radegonde, Vrines, France–1415) was a French soldier of Norman origin who, with Jean de Béthencourt, conquered and explored the Canary Islands. (chap. 4), and Gomes Lanes de Zurara's Chronicle of the Conquest of Ceuta (ca. 1440), which offers a rare glimpse of the often ignored role of feminine chivalric activity in the shape of Philippa of Lancaster Philippa of Lancaster, LG (31 March, 1360 Leicester Castle – July 19, 1415 Odivelas) was an English princess, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (a son of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault) by his wife and cousin Blanche of Lancaster. , queen of Portugal and mother of Henry the Navigator (chap. 5). The last two case studies (chaps. 7 and 8) are sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts, respectively: Sir Walter Ralegh's The Discoverie of Guiana (1595), and Captain John Smiths True Travels, Adventures and Observations . . . in Europe, Asia and America (1629). The case studies underscore above all the vitality of the medieval chivalric mentality until well into the seventeenth century, and Goodman thus demonstrates that it is a futile if not a redundant activity for scholars to compartmentalize com·part·men·tal·ize
tr.v. com·part·men·tal·ized, com·part·men·tal·iz·ing, com·part·men·tal·iz·es
To separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments: "You learn . . . history into periods with well defined beginnings and ends.
I have but two minor quibbles. Firstly, while the case studies are comprehensive, as a Hispanist, I was disappointed at the absence of references to the prominent Castilian statesman and prelate PRELATE. The name of an ecclesiastical officer. There are two orders of prelates; the first is composed of bishops, and the second, of abbots, generals of orders, deans, &c. , Alfonso de Cartagena Alfonso de Santa María de Cartagena (variants: Alfonso de Carthagena, Alonso de Cartagena) (1384, Burgos—1456, Villasandino) was a Jewish convert to Christianity, a Roman Catholic bishop, diplomat, historian and writer of pre-Renaissance Spain. (1384-1456). Cartagena was one of medieval Castile's most outspoken critics of chivalric fiction. If, for example, the British Isles were characterized in Amadis de Gaula Amadis de Gaula (original Portuguese version) (English: Amadis of Gaul, Spanish: Amadís de Gaula) is a landmark work among the knight-errantry tales which were in vogue in 16th century Iberian Peninsula, and formed the earliest reading of many , Tirant lo Blanch blanch
to become pale. and other Spanish works as a "romantic locale" (171) because, among other things, of their association with King Arthur, it would have been of interest to compare this ideal with Cartagena's Discurso pronunciado . . . end Concilio de Basilea acerca del derecho De`re´cho
n. 1. A straight wind without apparent cyclonic tendency, usually accompanied with rain and often destructive, common in the prairie regions of the United States. de precedencia del Rey de Castilla sobre el Rey de Inglaterra (1434), in which he sets out to refute this very notion. Secondly, a bibliography would not have been out of place at the end of this study, as I sometimes found the references in the notes rather cryptic (for example, page 170, note 8, where references to works by Diego de Valera and E. Prestage require clarification).
Otherwise, it is refreshing to see that the author is familiar with Spanish and Portuguese source material, which is all too often ignored in comparative studies of this sort. Her translations from foreign languages into English are also consistently accurate.
Goodman argues persuasively that the literature of travel and exploration is not so far removed from chivalric fiction as we might have imagined. By dint of solid scholarship, she succeeds admirably in demonstrating that we can better understand the mentality of European explorers and conquistadores of the early modern period through an understanding of their fantasies as those fantasies are represented in the fiction that pandered to their reading tastes and needs.
University of Georgia Organization
The President of the University of Georgia (as of 2007, Michael F. Adams) is the head administrator and is appointed and overseen by the Georgia Board of Regents.