Aucassin and Nicolette

Aucassin and Nicolette

in French and English

Aucassin, the young son of a Count, has fallen in love with Nicolette, a Saracen slave. He thinks of nothing but her, much to the disgust of his father, who expects him to behave like a proper knight — to fight and lead his people into battle. Nicolette is hidden away, Aucassin is deceived, and many adventures follow before love is allowed to triumph.

This tale of star-crossed lovers from the twelfth or thirteenth century is told partly in prose and partly in song. It is offered here in the medieval French version edited by Gaston Paris, with a translation into English by Eugene Mason, plus a nineteenth century French version by Alexandre Bida, with an English translation by A. Rodney MacDonough.

Aucassin and Nicolette, in French and English: Amazon US / Amazon UK

The Dunnett connection:

In Queen's Play, Lymond has some exchanges with the mysterious Dame de Doubtance based on the ballad of Aucassin and Nicolette, concluding with:

Remotely entertained, even then by the crazy parallel between his affairs and the ballad, he remembered trying very hard, halfway into a thorough faint, to pay her the obvious compliment: 'And thus the pilgrim was cured.'