Saturday, March 25, 2017

Back to the Good Duke

After some months of writing other material, I am back to translating The Chronicle of the Good Duke, Louis II of Bourbon.  (I am astonished to see, by the way, that I started this translation in 2010.)  It's a fascinating view of one of the great warrior-princes (no, not Xena) of the first half of the Hundred Years War.  The best part of the chronicle is, however, what it says about the knights and squires who fought in Louis' service.  I've written an article about the Chronicle in the Journal of Medieval History, if you are fortunate enough to be near a library that carries it.

The Chronicle has its challenges.  It was written by an obscure hanger-on of the Bourbon family, one Cabaret d'Orville, who doesn't seem to be the master of the French language that he might be.  He is excessively fond of sentences that begin with "and."  I once told a friend that if I simply eliminated every "And" that began a sentence -- just the "and" not the sentence -- the Chronicle would be a third shorter.

Well, I tested that theory yesterday when I set up MS Word to search for an initial And.  And it told me that in 240-some pages there were 707 Ands I could get rid of.

Done and dusted.  Simplest bit of editing I've ever done.

Image:  Yes, that's him, as the 15th century remembered him.

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