Speculum 55 (4):686-695 (1980)

The arguments about “courtly love” since C. S. Lewis ensured its place in the English critical vocabulary have focused on the theoretical aspects, on the essential elements of the love and the works from which a definition or system might be derived. Medievalists have accepted the notion that the phrase is essentially a modern invention , with little corroboration in medieval texts, and have justified its use by reference to its origins in a court setting and to the courtly qualities of those who practice it. But the fact is that there is considerable medieval precedent, that courtliness and love are commonly associated in medieval texts in Provencal, French, Italian, and even Middle English, from the earliest vernacular poets through the fourteenth century
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DOI 10.2307/2847660
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