Literary Leakings into Wavrin’s Danube: Three Strongholds and a Broken Bombard
Studia Patzinaka, 3, 2006, pp. 49-72
In the second half of the XVth century, Jean de Wavrin (c. 1400-1471), a noble knight from Artois and a witness of the Agincourt battle, wrote a Recueil des Croniques et Anchiennes Istories de la Grant Bretaigne, a present nommé Engleterre. His interest focused mainly on the English, Burgundian, and French affairs during and immediately after the Hundred Years War, but among his stories there is one about an exotic Danube campaign of his own nephew, a Burgundian knight named Waleran, also de Wavrin (c. 1418-1480). Jean de Wavrin, the uncle, was not a famous chronicler. In fact, his prose did not match the contemporary qualities and the XVth century stylistics. Moreover, out of Jean Froissart’s epigones, he is the least famous of all. Even Enguerrand of Monstrelet, Georges Chastellain or Olivier de la Marche surpass him in fame, literary abilities, and in popularity. Jean de Wavrin was a famous Burgundian ambassador in Rome (1463), a refined book collector, and a generous art sponsor. His literary career was private and somehow uninteresting. He wrote, as a free lancer, but he lacked the painstaking efforts and the propagandistic motivation of his contemporaries. He was a noble knight, well educated and wealthy, and wrote in order to enjoy the fruits of literature.