The International Courtly Literature Society was founded in 1973 to foster the study of all aspects of courtly literature - an interest not limited to European medievalists, although they provide one of the society's main focuses. The ICLS holds triennial international conferences, the third in Liverpool, England in 1980. Professor Glyn Burgess has edited a volume containing about one-third of the papers presented there. He opens it with the three plenary speakers, Charles Muscatine, Alan Deyermond, and John Benton, who illuminate conflicting aspects of life and literature held in tension in the productions of medieval court poets. The remaining 29 contributions represent the principal national literatures discussed at the Congress - English, French, German, Provencal and Spanish - and offer a wide variety of perspectives and approaches to courtly literature, including comparisons between literary and artistic artefacts.
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