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Getranslateerd uuten Franssoyse. Translation from French into Dutch in Holland in the 15th century. The case of Gerard Potter's Middle Dutch translation of Froissart's 'Chroniques'

Schoenaers, Dirk (2010) Getranslateerd uuten Franssoyse. Translation from French into Dutch in Holland in the 15th century. The case of Gerard Potter's Middle Dutch translation of Froissart's 'Chroniques'. Doctoral thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This dissertation focuses on the intercultural relations between the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking world in Holland in the first half of the fifteenth century. After a turbulent war of succession between the claimants Jacqueline of Bavaria and her uncle John the Pitiless, the counties of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault were incorporated into the largely francophone Burgundian empire. It has been suggested that this event marked the end of a flourishing period of cultural production in the Dutch vernacular at the court of Holland. However, as it seems, throughout the fifteenth century translations of French texts were produced for regional and local administrators. Possibly, the Burgundian regional government of Holland, which consisted of foreign as well as indigenous noblemen, may have played an important role in the dissemination of these texts. In this thesis, the subject is addressed by means of the contextualisation of the Middle Dutch version of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques. An analysis of documentary sources suggests that the comital residence at the Hague is best characterised as a multicultural environment inhabited by both bilingual and monolingual individuals. The results of an analysis of the variant readings in the French manuscripts of the Chroniques as compared to its Dutch counterpart show that the French manuscript which served as a model for the translation was probably produced between 1410 and 1418 by the Parisian libraire Pierre de Liffol. A comparison of the translated and original text shows that the translator wants to provide his readership with a text that is optimally intelligible and relevant to their context. Gerijt Potter’s modifications show that his intended audience was familiar with the habits of European courts and had a considerable geographical horizon. Because of the presence of doublets, repetitions and French loans, Potter’s style of writing resembles the official style of the comital chancery. However, a similar style is also found in other late fourteenth and early fifteenth-century translations. In The Hague the translation was probably dispersed (be it on a small scale) among members of the council and their contacts among the high nobility of Holland. Through the intensive contact between the regional councillors and members of local administration, the translation of the Chroniques became available to an audience in the cities.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Jean Froissart; Gerard Potter; translation; Middle Dutch; Burgundy; Burgundian; Holland; Council
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland)
D History General and Old World > DC France
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
ID Code:1277
Deposited On:22 May 2012 10:28
Last Modified:10 Sep 2013 09:59

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