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`If any man or woman should ask what I wish this romance... to be called, it is the Romance of the Rose, in which the whole art of love is contained'. Guillaume de Lorris's own introduction to his allegorical account of the progress of a courtly love affair gives no indication of the eventual scale and scope of the work, 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 to the right way to deal with premature hair-loss. This new translation into modern English, based on the French edition by Felix Lecoy, is intended as much for the general reader as for students of French and English literature.
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