The Ysengrimus is the first fully-fledged medieval beast-epic, and the poem in which Reynard the Fox makes his first appearance on the stage of world literature. It thus occupies a key position in the long and fertile tradition of medieval beast-literature, but it also claims attention as a masterpiece in its own right, the work of one of the most daring and original satirists of the Middle Ages.
Despite its importance, the Ysengrimus has been comparatively neglected because of its linguistic difficulties. Jill Mann eases these difficulties by presenting an English translation alongside the Latin text, and accompanying it with a detailed commentary. A full- length introduction offers an original account of the poem which shows how literary structure and historical dimensions are fused into an original satiric vision of compelling power.
This book will not only interest medieval Latin specialists, but will make this major text accessible to those working on the related vernacular traditions. Its analysis of the poem's allusions to contemporary persons and events will also be of considerable interest to historians of twelfth-century Flanders.