Roberta Krueger, the Burgess Professor of French, presented an invited lecture at the University of Missouri on April 7. “Piety and Profanity in Medieval Conduct Books: The Case of Antoine de la Sale’s Jean de Saintré” examined the interplay of didactic discourse and secular fictions within manuscript codices that conveyed the instructional literature of the late Middle Ages.
Krueger said, “As moral treatises and religious texts rubbed shoulders with courtly romances and fabliaux in certain manuscript compilations and conduct books, a complicated ethical landscape emerged. A brief survey of earlier compilations will lead us to Antoine de la Sale’s intriguing Jean de Saintré, of 1456.
“With its blend of chivalric romance, pseudo-historical narrative, didactic discourse, and bawdy fabliau, Jean de Saintré constitutes one of the last great French medieval didactic compilations, even as it questions the very pedagogic strategies it promotes.”