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Romance

A tale in prose or verse the incidents of which are hung upon what is marvellous and fictitious. These tales were originally written in the Romance language (q.v.), and the expression, “In Romance we read,” came in time to refer to the tale, and not to the language in which it was told.

Romance of chivalry
may be divided into three groups: (1) that relating to Arthur and his Round Table; (2) that relating to Charlemagne and his paladins; (3) that relating to Amadis and Palmerin. In the first are but few fairies; in the second they are shown in all their glory; in the third (which belongs to Spanish literature) we have no fairies, but the enchantress Urganda la Desconecida.

It is misleading to call such poetical tales as the Bride of Abydos, Lalla Rookh, and the Chansons of the Mouvères, etc., Romances.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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