Publication – Jeanette Patterson, « Making the Bible French: The Bible historiale and the Medieval Lay Reader »

From the end of the thirteenth century to the first decades of the sixteenth century, Guyart des Moulins’s Bible historiale was the predominant French translation of the Bible. Enhancing his translation with techniques borrowed from scholastic study, vernacular preaching, and secular fiction, Guyart produced one of the most popular, most widely copied French-language texts of the later Middle Ages.

Making the Bible French investigates how Guyart’s first-person authorial voice narrates translation choices in terms of anticipated reader reactions and frames the biblical text as an object of dialogue with his readers. It examines the translator’s narrative strategies to aid readers’ visualization of biblical stories, to encourage their identification with its characters, and to practice patient, self-reflexive reading. Finally, it traces how the Bible historiale manuscript tradition adapts and individualizes the Bible for each new intended reader, defying modern print-based and text-centred ideas about the Bible, canonicity, and translation.

Jeanette L. Patterson is an associate professor of French, Medieval Studies, and Translation Studies at Binghamton University.

Tale des matières :



1. Making the French Bible, or Making the Bible French

2. Telling it Right: Confronting Reader Resistance

3. Soothing Listeners’ Ears: Narrative Aesthetics and Poetic Faith

4. Les paroles dont je vous ay fait mention: The Bible historiale’s Two Books of Job

5. The Patient Reader

Conclusion: Asking the Right Questions

Appendix: Table of Selected Manuscripts

Informations pratiques :

Jeanette Patterson, Making the Bible French: The Bible historiale and the Medieval Lay Reader, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2022. 264 p. ISBN : 9781487508883. Prix : USD 65.

Source : University of Toronto Press

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