Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Breton lai or lay is a form of medieval French and English romantic literature. Lais are short (typically 600-1000 lines), rhymed tales of love and chivalry, often involving supernatural and fairy-world Celtic motifs.
The earliest surviving Breton lais are The Lais of Marie de France by Marie de France, a female Norman poet who lived in the late 12th and early 13th century. Through Marie's words we know of earlier lais of Celtic origin, more lyric in style, sung by Breton minstrels, on which she based her writings - but we have no surviving records of those.
Though the first Breton lais were written in Anglo-Norman, numerous lais were also composed in middle English in the 13th and 14th centuries by various English authors. Some prominent examples include:
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