Aucassin et Nicolete was written in medieval France, but it’s not your typical roman d’amour.
I haven’t actually read any other medieval romances. My expectations of “typical” are all formed on stereotype. In many ways, Aucassin and Nicolette meets those fairy tale stereotypes. On the other hand, something goes quite “wrong” in this love story, for Aucassin seems to be a selfish weakling, a man frozen into inaction when things don’t go as he expected, and Nicolette is constantly called on to be the true heroine of the story.
I first read Aucassin and Nicolette during my first or second year of college for a history class. I loved it! I found it again this week for the Really Old Classics Challenge, and I still love it. Because I think Nicolette is such an awesome heroine, going beyond the stereotypes of Medieval France, I’ve decided to also count Aucassin and Nicolette as my first work for the Women Unbound Challenge.