The day has been unexpectedly productive! Progress remains slow as I try to get my head around the relationships the define the start of Boeve and their historical contexts. There are undoubtedly connections between them, and they may be anti-Matildine, anti-Angevin, or just snide in a story of familial betrayal, but they are there. And this is just looking at the start of the first version of the story. It gets more complicated when we get to the Continuation, but I’m not there yet. Although I know where I have to go with it.
I am not persuaded that Boeve needs to be dated as early as J-P Martin and Judith Weiss have proposed in their work. Indeed, being snide about the Angevins as the writer looks back would work very well – what a family! Everyone was betraying everyone else – more or less – in contrast to Boeve’s paternal uncles and cousins, and the Saracen girl who loves him. The contrast between those who are loyal to Boeve and those who are treacherous needs further work, but at least I have managed to put some ideas together today.
There is much more to do on places, and still a good deal to rationalise as far as the historical elements are concerned, but I’m grateful for any progress in this difficult task. And only this morning I was wondering if I should just forget all about Boeve, and Haumtone, and Harhundel!