The first known troubadour, Guilhem IX of Aquitaine, VII Count of Poitou, was a versatile man who fought against the Moors in Spain, lost an army on his way to the First Crusade, and for a time, like his great-grandson Richard Cœur de Lion, possessed more land and power in France than the king himself. His poetry reflects the hatred of convention and love of the unexpected that marks his life. In its easy swing between self-mockery and seriousness, idealised love and bawdy laughter, it introduces into troubadour poetry a sense of conflict which, after Guilhem's death in 1127, found a different and wider expression in an opposition between the metaphysical poetry of troubadours who sang with 'dark', 'rich' words and the love songs of poets who composed in a clear, 'easy' style on the single plane of their courtly experience. Dr Topsfield examines the work of a number of the greatest troubadours from the viewpoint of their attitudes to love.
A hardback book with dust jacket in very good condition, only slight shelf wear.