The tale of Floire and Blancheflor circulated broadly across medieval Europe, with manuscript attestations surviving in, among others, Old French, Middle High German, Icelandic, Castilian, and Middle English. Despite its wide attestation, tracing the movement of the story between narrative cultures remains a persistent challenge in contemporary scholarship. In this essay, I carry out a computerized, statistical analysis that identifĳies three groups of narrative that traveled with Floire and Blancheflor across Europe from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. To do this, I take advantage of the narrative “vehicle” in which Floire was most often found: the vernacular French miscellany manuscript. While scholars can never identify with certainty the intentions behind the wide assemblages of texts found in such miscellany manuscripts, a statistical approach allows us to use them to trace the dissemination of narratives between times, places, and communities before the advent of print.
"Traveling Companions: Narrative Diffusion of Floire et Blancheflor in Medieval Miscellany, 1325–1400,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 2
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol2/iss2/6