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The Romance of the Rose

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,855 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
This is a new translation of The Romance of the Rose, an allegorical account of the progress of a courtly love affair which became the most popular and influential of all medieval romances. In the hands of Jean de Meun, who continued de Lorris's work, it assumed vast proportions and embraced almost every aspect of medieval life from predestination and optics, to the Franci ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 384 pages
Published August 19th 1999 by Oxford University Press (first published 1275)
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Sam Hickey Are you referring to the Oxford Classics cover image? If so then yes, that's what the actual image looks like (I have a copy).

If you're referring in…more
Are you referring to the Oxford Classics cover image? If so then yes, that's what the actual image looks like (I have a copy).

If you're referring in a roundabout way to whether this book contains sexual themes...it totally does. It was the most controvertial book of its age and gives an incredibly detailed allegorical account of one young man's quest in the name of Eros to obtain the rose, and his attempts to subdue Chastity, Shame, Jealousy, Rebuke, and Evil Tongue in order to free Fair Welcome from the clutches of an evil old woman and thus obtain the budding rose for himself. It's great, you should totally read it. It is an incredibly influential poem that had massive impact on many texts written for hundreds of years after its writing, and is probably the greatest example of the courtly romance genre that we have.

If you're referring to your profile picture in relation to the context of this book, then that is a bloomed flower, which is obviously the ultimate goal of the youth in this book. (less)

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Teri Anderson
This was a book C. S. Lewis taught in his medieval classes (he discusses it in The Allegory of Love):

“This is a point I would press on anyone dealing with the Middle Ages, that the first es-sential is to read the relevant classics over and over: the key to everything-- allegory, courtly love, etc. – is there. After that the two things to know really well are the Divine Comedy and the Romance of the Rose. The student who has really digested these with good commentaries, and who also knows the Cl
...more
Yann
Le Roman de la Rose est l’œuvre commune de Guillaume de Lorris et de Jean de Meun, deux poètes du treizième siècle, et a définitivement détruit les préjugés qui me restaient sur la prétendue épaisseur de l’esprit des hommes de ce temps. L’abondance de ce poème, plus de vingt mille vers, n’est nullement un obstacle à l’attention du lecteur, laquelle est également soutenu du début à la fin. La première partie de Guillaume s’apparente au Livre du cœur d’amour épris du mélancolique et désabusé René ...more
Beth
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
There are many things not to like about this poem. Allegories tend to feel stilted, and this book is populated almost entirely by allegories: embodied virtues, vices, emotions, and mythological deities. The poem itself is an expression of the tenets of the medieval ideal of courtly love - an ideal that tends to offend modern sensibilities on love and relationships. It's a concept of love that seems based in games and artifice. We find the god of love advising the narrator to stay well groomed an ...more
Lada Fleur
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Une merveille. Envoutant. La premiere partie de Guillaume Lorris c'est la courtoisie, releve de l'amour courtoise. Elle traite du jardin allegorique au service d'Amour presente sous trait d'un beau jeune homme bien eleve, bel Induit, au service des amoureux courtois...qui comprend la Sincerite, La Belle maniere, la Prestance, Le beau parleur mais garde a la Jalousie et l' Envie, la Vilenie . C'est un miroir du comportement parmi les aristocrates. La seconde partie est celle de Jean Meung qui est ...more
Nikki
The Romance of the Rose is worth reading mainly if you have an interest in medieval texts and particularly in those that express 'courtly love' (or fin'amours, whichever you think more accurate). It's one massive allegorical dream sequence, the work of two writers, and it was massively influential on later medieval writers.

This translation, by Charles Dahlberg, is very readable, though it is a prose translation. Obviously this isn't a modern novel, but I found it quite fun to read -- this transl
...more
Vladana Perlić
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pour-la-fac
Da ne znam da je ovaj roman napisan u XIII vijeku, nikada ne bih pogodila! Zaista, i poslije hiljadu godina, on sadrži u sebi nešto savremeno. Izuzetno mi se dopala sama ideja, alegorični likovi, stil pisanja (koji je neočekivano pitak za djelo nastalo u srednjem vijeku) i ono što najviše začuđuje - poprilično napredno razmišljanje za to vrijeme. Zapravo, sve što odlikuje ovaj roman, čini mi se, tako odudara od srednjeg vijeka - ili samo nisam čitala dovoljno fin'amor literature? Prije će biti o ...more
J. Alfred
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure where, but I vaguely remember C.S. Lewis mentioning this book as though it were distasteful. The man knows what he's talking about: this is a strange fourteenth-century allegory where Cupid and Venus help a man make war on a girl's Chastity and her attendants, Shame, Fear, and Jealousy (not making this up) while dodging the superfluity of marriage. The book ends when the guy finishes his pilgrimage and picks the rose in the center of the once-defended garden. There are some odd digr ...more
Sarah
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
I want to start by saying this was an assigned reading for a Medieval Literature class I am taking. As a medievalist, I can appreciate the amount of work that went into this book. I understand the allegory and the massive amount of medieval ideas on love, god and courtly behavior. However, this book was quite possibly the absolute most difficult book I have ever read. It took me a week to get through "The Advice of Reason" and it was incredibly difficult to stay focused. I have to say, this is s ...more
Elisabeth G. Wolfe
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-class
The first part of the Roman, the original section written by Guillaume de Lorris (R1), isn't bad... a bit risque for my taste, but the allegory is clear enough, and the imagery is nicely fanciful and suits the pleasant little story of a love affair gone wrong. There's certainly room to argue that Guillaume intended to continue R1 at some point or write a sequel but never got around to it, but R1 stands alone well enough.
Then Jean de Meun got hold of it.
Jean de Meun, to use modern parlance, was a
...more
Elaine
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elaine by: Professor Root
I fully admit, first of all, that I am judging this novel by a modern perspective. But, here I am, the reader, and I bring to this what I have lived and therefore do I really have to justify judging it by a modern-day perspective? I live in the year 2010!

And, in the year 2010, this is racist, sexist and homophobic and it was painful to read. It made me not happy to have come from the European tradition, genetically and culturally. I feel such empathy for people who read this who are of color and
...more
Sarah
3 stars for pure genius in able to single-handedly compile TONS of information and characteristic arguments about... well, Love. the -2 stars is for... long sighs in confused frustration and a bit of discomfort with the nasty ending.

But I think this work is really rewarding if you take the time to read closely, and ready sharply, noting where it digresses, where it answers itself through the different characters, and why. One could probably spend a lifetime...
Lada Fleur
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le roman allegorique de l'amour. L'adoration envers la dame. La rose d'amour et la rose de vie d'amour. L'amoureux poete et createur
Sam Hickey
The Romance of the Rose is an incredibly important text for anybody studying mediaeval literature, which influenced the writings of many later authors, with the most notable probably being Chaucer (he even did a partial translation of it).

As a text? Not much to say about it. It's an allegorical dream vision of epic proportions, with a cast of characters personifying various emotions and ideal/bad human qualities, with a smattering of Roman gods/mythology to boot. It charts an allegorised account
...more
Karen Loder
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereading
Such an entertaining read and really a great book to learn about the culture and beliefs and needs of medieval life, mostly from the royal court's perspective. Be advised, this book is incredibly misogynistic and definitely homophobic (though only male homosexuality is directly condemned while lesbianism is either passable or not considered detrimental to society, likely for misogynistic reasons). Frankly, one can't deny this was the state of things back then and understanding how women and homo ...more
Jackson
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
When people ask me what this book is about I don't know what to tell him. The sweep of Romance of the Rose is wide and its contents ineffable. We can learn from this book at one point how as a woman, to fleece a man for all he has.Very swiftly, we learn about capricious and treacherous fortune -- how a man should chase after nobility and personal values than gold or silver. How to suit a lady, the evil of woman, what kind of shoes to wear it and how about to walk on the streets are all topics of ...more
Jessica
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Undoubtedly, The Romance of the Rose is overly long, rambling, and dry. It is certainly not a page-turner. The main narrative is a cute and somewhat clever allegorical story about a man who kisses his love but then is rejected because of her sense of shame, chastity, etc. He calls upon his allies (including deceit and female sexual desire) to convince her to make love to him. Unfortunately this main story is drowned out by very lengthy philosophical and theological ramblings, used most likely so ...more
Raúl
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro nada adecuado para este siglo apresurado y monocorde. Un libro al cuál pocos lectores de hoy en día se acercarían. Un libro que te puede interesar, te puede aburrir, te puede fascinar, un libro que se puede convertir en tu libro de cabecera si superas sus 100 primeras páginas.
Un extenso poema sin personajes y en el que la trama se difumina para ser el bastidor del juego de los autores. Autores, porque fue comenzado por Guillaume de Loris, que murió con 25 años dejándolo inacabado, para
...more
Maan Kawas
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very beautiful medieval poem in the form of an allegorical dream vision about courtly love which takes you to unique world and events! The poem was written by two authors; Guillaume de Lorris composed the first part (interrupted), while Jean de Meun composed the second part years later. The first part was more idealistic and sublime, whereas the continuation by de Meun took more philosophical and sexual and sensual dimensions, and was in many places misogynic. The symbol of the rose took vario ...more
Sarah Bilodeau
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Il s'agit d'un d=code de l'amour courtois sous forme allegorique . . . C'est la narration a la fois de la conquete de la rose at d'un songe de l'auteur. C'est la personnification, une allegorie de l'art d'aimer. L'ART D'AIMER SELON LE CANON DE LA FIN'AMOR.

Ce texte enorme de 4000 vers publie au debut du treizieme siecle est le nge raconte par le poete . . . Il s'shit de la conquete de la rose qui symbolise le coeur d'une jeune femme dont ceratins entites favorisent l'approche (Bel Avvueil, Franc
...more
Roman Clodia
The Romance of the Rose was a medieval `bestseller': over 200 manuscripts of it have come down to us (compared to, for example, about 80 of The Canterbury Tales). The first part (c. 4000 lines) was composed by Guillaume de Lorris in c.1225, and there is an ongoing debate as to whether this was completed or left unfinished.

About forty years later, Jean de Meun wrote a much longer continuation of the poem taking a far more scholastic approach and using the text as a site for academic and philosoph
...more
Samreen Ahsan
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myhomelibrary
I read the modern English translation. Beautiful prose and representation of courtly love. This is kind of a book you keep in your bookshelf all the time, just like Divine Comedy.
James Violand
Jun 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Shelves: own
This book has much to recommend it and much to damn it. First, this translation is terrible despite the intention by the translator to hew close to the original meter. He accomplishes a muddied and confusing rhythm that detracts from what probably is a good book in French. Secondly, the entire effort by the two authors - yes, two. One took up where the other left off - to give a dissertation on Love is a task best left to those who are better writers. This work is a paradigm with layers upon lay ...more
عائشة آل
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Alice
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, classic, romance
I'm rating this 3 stars not because the content was any good - it was dry and weighed down with philosophical rambling (or maybe it was a philosophy book masked in the facade of a narrative). It gets this good a rating because I found it illuminating. Anyone who believes that things were better for women and wooing when things were simpler and chivalry was in place only needs to read one chapter of this woman-hating, anti-marriage screed.

I found some comfort in the fact that this seemed to be a
...more
Eunice
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval
Initially when I first read this book, like one year ago, I rated it with 2 stars. The reason was simple. although i enjoyed Lorris part, i hated Jean de Meun. I still enjoy the first part most, but i have read a lot of romances since the first time i pick The romance of the rose and now I can see why this book was so influential. Not only for medieval writers, but for myself... The imagery of the romance of the rose is one of THE richest and more impresive in literature. I am sure that the next ...more
Martin Bihl
the introduction describes this as being like a gothic cathedral - started by one vision, completed by another. and that's true. what guillaume de lorris started, jean de meun didn't so much complete as completely ignore to write an elaborate series of scholastic disputations. this grew wearisome and often, to this simple 21st century reader, fairly incomprehensible.

that said, it does present interesting insights into the way the medieval mind thought, and for those who find that interesting (a
...more
Matt
Jul 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Heh. Heh. That's dirty, Beavis.
While this work has a lot going for it, digressions abound, and they serve no noticeable purpose in many cases. The problem is, the text is long enough, and the addition of many irrelevant philosophical treatises (perhaps only irrelevant because I'm not astute enough to catch them) water down the text, making it at times difficult to stay with it. I think there should be an excerpted version of the text for those interested in the meat of this one. Heh. Heh. Meat.
Seyf
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
On a réuni sous ce titre deux oeuvres différentes qui n'ont de commun qu'une intrique insignifiante: le poète (Amant) cherche à conquérir la Rose dont son coeur s'est épris, symbole de la jeune fille qu'il aime. La première partie, écrite par Guillaume de Lorris entre 1225 et 1230, dessine avec grâce les étapes du parcours amoureux; la seconde, rédigée par Jean de Meung vers 1270, est une suite de développements satiriques et cyniques sur le mariage, la richesse, la liberté, la royauté; mais c'e ...more
Michael Walker
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a medieval literary classic, now generally ignored. It is actually two books: the first, written by French author Guillaume de Lorris between 1225-1230; the second, an addition by French author Jean de Meun some 50 years later. It is an allegory, introduced to me by C. S. Lewis in his "Allegory of Love" work, which I utilized to better comprehend this novel. De Lorris is clearly the better writer, so the first third of "Romance" was much easier to comprehend than de Meun's lengthy additi ...more
Daniel Wright
I read this because I'm trying to read the complete works of C. S. Lewis, and you can't really read The Allegory of Love without first reading all the works he comments on, one of which is this one. I read this, and then read Lewis' chapter on it, and was pleased to discover that he was as unimpressed with it as I was. Although a lot of the imagery is interesting, this work is no longer of any except scholarly interest.
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Is the Romance of the Rose relevant in today's culture 2 8 Jul 28, 2015 04:47PM  
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Guillaume de Lorris (fl. 1230) was a French scholar and poet, and was the author of the first section of the Romance of the Rose. Little is known about him, other than that he wrote the earlier section of the poem around 1230, and that the work was completed forty years later by Jean de Meun.

From Wikipedia
More about Guillaume de Lorris...
“The more a man gazes on what he loves, the more he sets fire to his heart and bastes it with bacon fat.” 4 likes
“كما أن البحرلا يمكن تجفيفه، فإن أوجاع المحب وتباريح الغرام لا يمكن حصرها في الروايات” 2 likes
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