12th Century literature

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Reading was a favourite pastime of nobles, especially women (who were likely to be better at reading than knights). Several romances depict happy family scenes where a daughter or wife reads a book aloud to her whole family. The popularity of the romance tales can been seen in the sudden surge of romances being written.

A partial list of 12thC Literature (fictiion and non-fiction) can be found at: 12_Century_texts

Also available would have been many earlier tales, however the popularity of the romance in france and england was that it was written in the old french vernacular. While most english and french nobles would have learned to read in latin as well as old french, only scholars could be guaranteed to have the practise that made such reading easy. 12th C literature sees a wave of (populary demanded) translations of material in various languages (latin, anglo-saxon, greek, welsh) into the readily acessable old french. Similar actions are happening in germany, as we see german translations of very popular french works produced within only a decade or two (very fast for the time).