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reception process, Anglo-Norman literature


Although we assume that the thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman romance Roman de Silence by Heldris de Cornwall experienced no reception at all apart from one manuscript containing the text, there is a considerable likelihood that the sixteenth-century Venetian author Gian Francesco Straparola somehow gained access to the medieval text and adapted it for one of the stories contained in his famous collection, Le Piacevoli Notti (1550 and 1553). Even though we cannot yet determine the exact process of reception, the strong similarities between both works go far beyond global archetypal themes. Straparola’s work hence demonstrates that Heldris’s work was known even long after the thirteenth century, or was simply rediscovered in the sixteenth century and put to good use in literary terms.