The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables

Faber Members pay only £10.39 for this title. Sign up for free during checkout to get your discount.
Proceed to Checkout
ISBN 9780571249664 Format Paperback
9780571249664
Paperback
Published 01/04/2010 Length 208 pages
208

About Book

The greatest of the late medieval Scottish makars, Robert Henryson wrote in Lowland Scots, a distinctive northern version of English. He was profoundly influenced by Chaucer's vision of the frailty and pathos of human life. His greatest poem, and one of the rhetorical masterpieces of the literature of these islands, is the narrative Testament of Cresseid, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, which completes the story of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, offering a grim and tragic account of its faithless heroine's rejection by her lover Diomede, and her decline into prostitution and leprosy. A work of unreconciled Shakespearean intensity, the Testament has been translated by Seamus Heaney into a confident and yet faithful modern English idiom which honours the poem's unique blend of detachment and compassion.

A master of narrative, Henryson was also a comic master of the verse fable; his burlesques of human weakness in the guise of animal wisdom are traced with delicate comedy and irony. Seven of the Fables are here sparklingly translated; their burlesque freshness rendered to the last claw and feather. Seven Fables and The Testament of Cresseid is an extraordinarily rich and wide-ranging encounter between two poets across six centuries.

The greatest of the late medieval Scottish makars, Robert Henryson wrote in Lowland Scots, a distinctive northern version of English. He was profoundly influenced by Chaucer's vision of the frailty and pathos of human life. His greatest poem, and one of the rhetorical masterpieces of the literature of these islands, is the narrative Testament of Cresseid, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, which completes the story of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, offering a grim and tragic account of its faithless heroine's rejection by her lover Diomede, and her decline into prostitution and leprosy. A work of unreconciled Shakespearean intensity, the Testament has been translated by Seamus Heaney into a confident and yet faithful modern English idiom which honours the poem's unique blend of detachment and compassion.A master of narrative, Henryson was also a comic master of the verse fable; his burlesques of human weakness in the guise of animal wisdom are traced with delicate comedy and irony. Seven of the Fables are here sparklingly translated; their burlesque freshness rendered to the last claw and feather. Seven Fables and The Testament of Cresseid is an extraordinarily rich and wide-ranging encounter between two poets across six centuries.
  • About Seamus Heaney

    Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.

    More Info