Nicholas Bozon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Nicholas Bozon (fl. c. 1320), or Nicole Bozon, was an Anglo-Norman writer and Franciscan friar. He spent most of his life in the East Midlands and East Anglia.

Nicholas may have belonged to the Bozon family of Whissonsett, Norfolk. He may have studied at Oxford University. He was, by his own admission, del ordre de freres menours ("of the order of the Friars Minor"), and probably associated with the Nottingham friary, since he refers in his own writings to the Trent and Derwent rivers. He specifically calls himself ordenours, probably indicating the privilege of granting absolution.

Most of Nicholas' literary works can be classified as allegories, Marian poems, saints' lives, and sermons, all in verse. His allegories include the Char d'orgueil and the Passion, a soteriological allegory, which depicts Christ as a knight in love who, dressed in the coat-of-arms of his squire Adam, fights Belial in order to rescue his lover, Humanity. He also wrote a satire of corruption, the Plainte d'amour, perhaps inspired by the papal bull Exivi de paradiso (1312). His most famous work, the aptly titled Contes moralisés ("Moralising Tales"), probably composed sometime after 1320, is a collection of exempla, probably for use in sermons. It includes fables, contemporary anecdotes, and facts taken from bestiaries. The tales have been much appreciated for their worldly curiosity and "down-to-earth attitude". Though Nicholas' only language of writing is Anglo-Norman, he does quote some Middle English proverbs and use some English words (e.g. "wapentak").

The poem De bonne femme la bounté has been ascribed to Nicholas, but not definitively.

References[edit]

  • Gray, Douglas (2004). "Bozon, Nicholas (fl. c.1320)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed 17 August 2008.
  • Klenke, M. Amelia (1940). "Nicholas Bozon". Speculum, 15:4 (October), pp. 444–453.
  • Klenke, M. Amelia (1951). "An Anglo-Norman Gospel Poem, by Nicholas Bozon(?)". Studies in Philology, 48:250–266.
  • Klenke, M. Amelia (1954). "Nicholas Bozon". Modern Language Notes, 69:4 (April), pp. 256–260.