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This article explores the story of Fresne from Renaut’s early thirteenth-century romance of Galeran de Bretagne and, moreover, the often overlooked story of her twin sister Flourie. In Marie de France’s version of the tale, the lai of Le Fraisne, the focus is on the character of Fresne, rather than her twin sister who is rarely mentioned in favour of encouraging the ultimate success of Fresne in winning the handsome knight at the end of the tale. However, inextricably linked to the success of Fresne is the failure of Flourie, and in Renaut’s romance, the reader is allowed a glimpse into the trajectory and ultimate loss of her character.
The lack of physical interaction between the twin sisters provides a striking circumstance in which these twin sisters can be read as two separate halves of one whole, and the signifying markers that separate them at each stage of their identification are cloth objects.
cloth, fabric, Old French, romance, clothwork, twins, materiality
Copyright © 2020 the author(s)
Boharski, Morgan "Like Looking in a Mirror: A Material Reading of the Sisters in Galeran de Bretagne." Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 56, No. 1 (2020) : 18-37.