The French of England:
Multilingualism in Practice, c. 1100-c. 1500

27th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University
Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1, 2007
At the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University

French and English in the Preaching Literature of Nicole Bozon
 Laurie Postlewate, Barnard College

 While the œuvre of Nicole Bozon,  an English Franciscan of the early fourteenth century, covers a wide range of forms (saints’ lives,  allegorical poetry,  exempla,  verse proverbs and sermons) the individual works are unified in tone and purpose: all incorporate the voice of a preacher addressing directly an audience to whom  they offer moral guidance. The choice of French in literary works so closely linked to the oral performance of the sermon (and which occasionally also use English),  raises the double issue of the identity of Bozon’s audience  and the way French was  received  and used in England in the late Anglo-Norman period.  We will discuss these two issues with reference to Bozon’s works and more generally to the presence and mission of the Franciscans in England.

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