Courtly love, courtly love poetry, and the troubadours

The South: Bordeaux, Poitiers, Toulouse

Eleanor and the world of courtly love

Eleanor, Henry, and the Angevin empire

The Angevins and the Matter of Britain

Bernart de Ventadorn (fl 1150-1180)


See below link to PDF copy of lecture week 14




Items that will be available in class:

  1. Most famous poem of courtly love: Bernart de Ventador  (email)
  2. Joyce Carol Oates, "Love in the Western World" (email)
  3. Mother Teresa (email)

This article by the great novelist Joyce Carol Oates is the best summary ever written of that unique phenomenon that we study this week: Western ideas of love.


If you want to read more about Courtly Love there is no better place to begin than in C. S. Lewis's brilliant Allegory of Love especially the first chapter. Lewis and the whole circle of Medievalists of whom he was a part (Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers), blazed a trail of research in this field and we are still in their debt.

C.S. Lewis,

Allegory of Love,

Oxford University Press,

ISBN 0192812203

The one book that has had a greater influence on our ideas of love in the West than any other book is the brilliant Love in the Western Worldby Denis de Rougemont. De Rougemont (1906-1985) was one of the most influential European intellectuals of his generation. His book came out first in 1939 and then was revised several times with the 1972 edition being the definitive final edition. This book simply changed the way people thought about Western cultural history. It was of extraordinary importance and is still the beginning point for any study of the unique phenomenon of love in the Western world.

Denis de Rougemont,

Love in the Western World,

Princeton University Press,

ISBN 0691013934