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The 'lay of Guingamor' is an old French Breton Lay, composed sometime in the second half of the 12th Century. Several 19th Century authours suggested that Marie de France had composed this unsigned lay, however most modern academics concur that this was a case of wishful thinking.

Guingamor survives only in one manuscript: MS Novelles Aquisitions Francaises 1104 (Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris). It is a later copy (13th Century?) of several lays, but the majority of the lay has remained unchanged, and the language of the lay can be used to date the original composition.

The lay is written in octasyllabic rhyming couplets, as was the fashion in 12th century France.



  • Weingartner, R. (ed), 1985, "Graelent and Guingamor: Two Breton Lays" Garland Publshing, Inc, New York, ISBN 0-8240-8914-6

translation method: Side by side transcribed old french and modern english line by line translation, no attempt to rhyme lines.