By Ruth J. Dean
Annuale Medievale 6 (1965)
Introduction: My purpose in asking this question is to examine the contexts in which the term “Anglo-Norman” is used or may be appropriate, and particularly to consider is application to language, literature, and manuscripts. This discussion will show that there are areas in which it is not yet desirable to define the term narrowly. But a working definition will allow us to consider the character of the literature called Anglo-Norman and the scope of the studies that can be devoted to this area. This is not the place for an exhaustive account of Anglo-Norman studies, nor shall I attempt a comprehensive survery of Anglo-Norman literature. I wish rather to stress the problems that need to be worked on in order to improve our understanding of the culture that we can call Anglo-Norman. A language, a literature, an architecture, a form of law and government developed after the Conquest, flourished for nearly three centuries, and then dwindled away before the renascence of the native character. yet all those elements are part of English culture and the literature forms an important part of French culture as well.