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Courtly Love Books


Courtly love is an idealized loved celebrated in the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The noble knight devotes himself to a lady. Courtly love also involves a code of conduct for lovers. Read more about courtly love. 


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1. The Romance of the Rose

by Guillaume De Lorris, and Jean De Meun. Oxford University Press. From the publisher: "This is a new translation of 'The Romance of the Rose,' an allegorical account of the progress of a courtly love affair which became the most popular and influential of all medieval romances."
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2. The Art of Courtly Love

by Andreas Capellanus. Columbia University Press. From the publisher: "After becoming popularized by the troubadours of southern France in the twelfth century, the social system of 'courtly love' soon spread. Evidence of the influence of courtly love in the culture and literature of most of western Europe spans centuries."
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3. The Book of Courtly Love: The Passionate Code of the Troubadours

by Andrea Hopkins. HarperCollins. From the publisher: "For lovers--and lovers of romance--this lushly illustrated, sumptuous treasure illuminates the timeless stages of the most human experience, falling in love."
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4. Violence in Courtly Medieval Literature

by Albrecht Classen. Taylor & Francis. From the publisher: "Albrecht Classen is Professor of German at the University of Arizona. He is editor of 'The Book and the Magic of Reading in the Middle Ages' and 'Meeting the Foreign in the Middle Ages,' both published by Routledge."
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5. Courtly Love: The Path of Sexual Initiation

by Jean Markale. From the publisher: "In addition, the platonic nature attributed to these relationships is based on a misunderstanding of courtly love; underneath the refined poetry of the troubadours' verses flourished a system of sexual initiation that rivaled Indian Tantra."
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6. Desiring Discourse: The Literature of Love, Ovid through Chaucer

by James J. Paxson. Susquehanna University Press. From the publisher: "Responding to the great fund of critical work done on amatory literature in the Middle Ages--a literature thus far organized into an array of categories such as the rhetorical institution of persuasion and seduction...--this volume seeks to provide a comprehensive look at the rhetorical and social conditions of desire."
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7. Love in the Western World

by Denis De Rougemont. Princeton University Press. From the publisher: "In this classic work, Denis De Rougemont explores the psychology of love from the legend of Tristan and Isolde to Hollywood."
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8. The Meaning of Courtly Love

by Stanley R. Ross. State University of New York Press. From the publisher: "The papers will offer the reader an opportunity to determine the meaning of the concept of courtly love in critical discussion, to judge its importance in understanding medieval literature, and to see the range of opinion on the subject."
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9. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Courtly Love and the Troubadours

by Ffiona Swabey. Greenwood Publishing Group. From the publisher: "Offers an accessible overview of the vibrant personal and intellectual developments in the medieval court and monasteries during Eleanor of Aquitaine's lifetime. Primary documents, biographical material and thematic chapters put color into this unique period."
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10. The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval

by Eric Jager. Broadway Books. From the publisher: "'The Last Duel' brings to life the tragic drama and fascinating details of a scandalous incident that occurred during one of world history's most tumultous eras, the fourteenth century: a time of war, plague, and suffering--and, paradoxically, chivalry, honor, loyalty, and courtly love."
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