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The Original Bisclavret

Marie de France, from an illuminated manuscript
Image via Wikipedia

I have recently published a short story called Bisclavret (The Werewolf) on Smashwords and at the Kindle Store. My story is a retelling of Marie de France‘s Bisclavret, one of her 12 lais (a French syllabic verse form used for narrative poems)  based on lais sung by Breton minstrels. Marie was writing in the late 12th and it is likely that her works were based on Breton/Celtic stories of an earlier origin.

My version of Bisclavret takes the story to the second half of the fourteenth century and makes the protagonists an English knight and his Breton wife, living in her ancestral castle in Brittany, surrounded by forests and decaying estates ravaged into poverty by the hundred years war.

I would encourage anyone interested in werewolves, fantasy and medieval literature to read all of Marie’s work. I personally find it very instructive to go back to the core myths and legends that act as the source material for today’s fantasy fiction.

If you want to read the original Bisclavret I would recommend the following sites:

A good verse translation at a University of Florida site

The Project Gutenberg version taken from a 1911 edition.

Or a cheap and good quality eBook version of the lais of Marie de France based on the 1911 edition.

You can get a sample of my short story Bisclavret (The Werewolf) at Smashwords, or at the Kindle Store.

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