Article Title

Fifteenth-Century Flamboyant Style and The Castle of Perseverance


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Historians of continental art, architecture, and literature who have investigated flamboyant style find that it was originally a product of the Franco-Burgundian culture, which flourished from the late fourteenth through the fifteenth century in the geographical region including Flanders, the Duchies of Burgundy and Berry, and most of Northern France.1 Since England was closely allied both politically and economically with the Burgundian court during this same time, it is not surprising that many characteristics of continental flamboyant style should be found in English art and literature. What is surprising is that although striking illustrations of flamboyant style have been noted in French morality plays of the fifteenth century,2 there have been few if any published studies that view the English moralities in light of all the features of flamboyant style. Certainly, no study of .this type has been made of the earliest complete English morality-The Castle of Perseverance.3 Yet, it is apparent that the morality play genre, as typified by this early fifteenth-century work, is a result of the flamboyant stylistic process, and can be much more fully understood as a literary phenomenon when viewed in this context.

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