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Coucy, Le Chatelain De

COUCY, LE CHATELAIN DE, French trouvère of the 12th century. He is probably the Guy de Couci who was castellan of the castle of that name from 1186 to 1203. Some twenty-six songs are attributed to him, and about fifteen or sixteen are undoubtedly authentic. They are modelled very closely on Provençal originals, but are saved from the category of mere imitations by a grace and simplicity peculiar to the author. The legend of the love of the Châtelain de Coucy and the Lady of Fayel, in which there figures a jealous husband who makes his wife eat the heart of her lover, has no historical basis, and dates from a late 13th century romance by Jakemon Sakesep. It is worth noting that the story, which seems to be Breton in origin, has been also told of a Provençal troubadour, Guilhem de Cabestaing, and of the minnesinger Reinmar von Brennenberg. Pierre de Belloy, who wrote some account of the family of Couci, made the story the subject of his tragedy Gabrielle de Vergy.

The songs of the Châtelain de Coucy were edited by Fritz Fath (Heidelberg, 1883). For the romance see Gaston Paris, in the Hist. litt. de la France (vol. 28, pp. 352-360). An exquisite song, "Chanterai por mon courage," expressing a woman's regrets for her lover at the Crusade, is attributed in one MS., probably erroneously, to the Lady of Fayel (Hist. litt. xxiii. 556). An English metrical romance of "The Knight of Curtesy," and the "Fair Lady of Faguell," was printed by William Copland, and reprinted in Ritson's Eng. Metrical Romances (ed. E. Goldsmid, vol. iii., 1885).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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