romance [O.Fr.,=something written in the popular language, i.e., a Romance language]. The roman of the Middle Ages was a form of chivalric and romantic literature widely diffused throughout Europe from the 11th cent. With the Provençal troubadours the roman was a form of narrative, originally sung but later recited before courts. The trouvères lengthened these into the chansons de geste and the romans d'aventures, or romances of love and adventure. It is from the latter class that the modern romance descends (see novel).
See studies by A. B. Taylor (1930, repr. 1969), G. Beer (1970), and E. Vinaver (1971).
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