Year's Work in English Studies

Review of Fortunes Stabilnes

In Fortunes Stabilnes: Charles of Orleans's English Book of Love, Mary-Jo Arn provides a splendidly comprehensive scholarly edition of BL MS Harley 682, with full critical apparatus of paraphrases at the foot of the page, textual and explanatory endnotes, glossary, bibliography, indices of first lines, ballade refrains, French counterparts of English poems and proper names, and an appendix of poems attributed to Charles of Orleans not found in Harley 682. The 129-page introduction sets the roundels, ballades, lyrics and narrative stanzas of this highly eclectic manuscript firmly in their codicological, linguistic, literary and historical context. The text itself is presented with only the minimum of regularization, but the punctuation is modernized, considerably facilitating its comprehensibility. Taken together, the constituent parts of this mammoth project make a cogent and persuasive case for a critical re-evaluation of Duke Charles and the acceptance of his magnum opus as an innovative, experimental and surprisingly playful poetic text.

The Year's Work in English Studies, 75 (1994), 157.

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