Reynard the Fox
Hardback (B304) | Jan 2021 | Bodleian Library | 9781851245550 | 480pp | 200x145mm | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99
Reynard — a subversive, dashing, anarchic, aristocratic, witty fox from the watery lowlands of medieval East Flanders — is in trouble. He has been summoned to the court of King Noble the Lion, charged with all manner of crimes and misdemeanours. How will he pit his wits against his accusers — greedy Bruin the Bear, pretentious Courtoys the Hound, and dark and dangerous Isengrim the Wolf — to escape the gallows?
Reynard was once the most popular and beloved character in European folklore, as familiar as Robin Hood, King Arthur, or Cinderella. His character spoke eloquently for the voiceless and disenfranchised, but also amused and delighted the elite, capturing hearts and minds across borders and societal classes for centuries.
Based on William Caxton's bestselling 1481 English translation of the Middle Dutch, this edition is an imaginative retelling of the Reynard story, expanded with new interpretations and innovative language and characterisations. With its themes of protest, resistance, and duplicity led by a personable, anti-heroic Fox, this gripping tale is as relevant and controversial today as it was in the fifteenth century.
'This is marvelously spirited and adroit storytelling and an exciting example of innovative translation. Anne-Louise Avery communicates throughout sheer pleasure in the material and luxuriates in its lexical exuberance. Adding mischievous contemporary twists, she has wonderfully refreshed and revivified the medieval collection and shows how these traditional animal fables, with their large and lively cast of characters and their wicked and seductive protagonist, have lost none of their truth-telling power.' — Marina Warner
'Anne Louise Avery has done a new translation of the Caxton tale for the Bodleian Library, but has amplified the relatively brief traditional tales with her own prose...By all means, give this book to someone you love as a gift, but be sure to buy one for yourself. The immersive reading experience is lovely.' — Jill O'Neill, Scholarly Kitchen