Tuesday, 22 December 2009

'Ah!' etc: Lantier's 19th-century Rudel epic

Étienne-François de Lantier (1734-1826) served as a cavalry officer before moving to Paris and becoming a writer. According to The Oxford Companion to Literature (a dusty old 1959 edition, edited by Sir Paul Harvey and JE Heseltine), 'He was called "l'Anacharsis des boudoirs" after his pseudo-antique romance Les Voyages d'Anténor en Gréce et en Asie (1798), a gay, very superficial imitation of Barthélemy's Voyage du jeune Anacharsis'.

Lantier was quite the success in his day; Voyages d'Anténor was translated into most European languages. He also wrote L'Impatient (1778), a one-act comedy in verse, Le Flatteur (1780), Les Travaux de Monsieur l'abbé Mouche (1784) and Les Rivales (1798). His epic treatment of the Rudel legend, Geoffroi Rudel ou le Troubadour, poème en huit chants (1825) runs to over 300 pages and begins with the word 'Ah!', which is a fair indication of how the rest of the poem pans out.

Google Books has, inevitably, put Geoffroi Rudel ou le Troubadour online.

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