By Patricia E. Grieve

This comparative learn examines Floire and Blancheflor and exhibits how medieval writers from Spain, France, Italy, England, and Scandinavia remodeled this tale from the 12th in the course of the 16th centuries to enhance and emphasize social, political, non secular and inventive objectives.

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Upon the death of his father, Flores becomes the Christian King of Spain, but this Christian kingdom does not, unfortunately, survive past the eighteen years of his reign, when the Moors once again 26 Texts and Origins overrun much of Spain. The story now tells of the daughter of Flores and Blancaflor, Berta, named after Blancaflor's mother. CRONICA DE FLORES Y BLANCAFLOR: VERNACULAR PROSE HISTORIOGRAPHY There are four issues that we must address: the date of BN Madrid MS 7583 containing Flores y Blancaflor, the date of the composition of the chronicle-version, which is clearly earlier than the date of the actual manuscript; the dates in eighth-century Spanish history during which the story of the lovers is purported to have taken place; and the relationship of this story to the other European versions, specifically referring to the question of origin.

As for the manuscript itself, most readers would have been unaware that the version of Flores y Blancaflor was an extremely important and entirely unknown (except to the now-deceased Gomez Perez) witness to the popular European legend. 10 CRONICA DE FLORES Y BLANCAFLOR: THE STORY Our manuscript, BN Madrid 7583 called the Chronicle, (chronicleversion or Crdnica de Flores y Blancaflor throughout this study), lacks the first f^w folios and begins with events from the first half of the eighth century (approximately 739-68 of the Common Era) by listing the names of the territories and their corresponding bishoprics that had been under Christian control, but were conquered by ("sullied by," the manuscript says) the followers of Mohammed.

Another odd feature is that Blancaflor's mother breastfeeds the infant Flores because the pagan father says "que la leche de la christiana era / mejor que la de los moros" (Rodriguez Herrero 153) ("that the Christian's milk was better than that of the Moors"). Blancaflor, then, had to rely on goat's milk, but her mother breastfed her whenever she could do it in secret. Blancaflor's mother dies, which is a feature of the Italo-Spanish group, that is, Boccaccio's tale, the anonymous Cantare di Fiorio e Biancifiore and the sixteenth-century Spanish prose romance.

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