I think I am (almost) ready to accept the idea that Boeve existed in an early form, onto which was grafted the later development with all the controversial material, although this still doesn’t answer all my questions, and we don’t know what form the ‘original’ took. I think I’m happy with the idea that during the reign of Richard I someone saw fit to create the ‘Continuation’, even though this negates my argument in favour of Bovo of St Laurence, but in any case there is a better candidate for the naming. What I cannot accept is the entire emphasis being placed on William d’Albini III, simply on the grounds of his payment to Richard, persuasive though this is. Something is still missing, and my objections are only partly based on Richard’s visits to Southampton. I need to do more work on this because I think the relevant contexts are being read ‘arsiversy’, or at least are not being read fully enough. It was helpful writing my highly speculative essay on the possibility of an adventus ceremony embedded in Boeve, because I realised I needed to think more about the later dating, but Judith Weiss’s proposal, supported by Jean-Pierre Martin, concerning the dates, really fits rather well with what I argued concerning the adventus, which seems to have quietly (perhaps kindly) slipped off the radar. I may post it on Academia at some point to see what responses it gets.
If I can work out the problem of the relationship between places and dates it would give additional background to the work I’m doing on Bevis, but it’s not essential and is a different kettle of stockfish. The Celtic chapter needs substantial work because the Celtic influence could have come from the West, or east via Brittany. However, the lack of faery elements in Bevis helps concentate the focus on the occult as it does appear. I have SO much more reading to do!