Dragon-killer out of the past

Long, long ago — more precisely, in February 2006 — an author named Carole Wilkinson contacted me about one of the translations on my web page on Medieval Women and warfare: https://booksrus.me.uk/hn/HistoricalTexts/Women/wom5.htm#other_sources

The translation in question was an episode from the story of Floriant et Florete, in which a young noblewoman named Florete kills a dragon which attacks her and her husband. When the dragon knocks her husband down, Florete picks up his lance and kills the dragon.

The question was: did Florete actually kill the dragon? (Yes!) The translations were originally set up for my students, so I was pleased to learn that they were proving useful to a wider readership. I sent Carole a full translation of the relevant passage and some details about the story. A year later she contacted me to explain that she was writing ‘a dragon encyclopedia for children’ and asked some more questions, which I tried to answer. Carole wrote back with thanks.

And then … I heard no more. Was the book ever published? What became of the material on Florete? A few years later I searched on Amazon and discovered that a book had come out, but was already out of print — so I’d missed the chance of buying a copy.

From time to time I’ve remembered Florete and wondered whether she made it into the dragon encyclopedia. Finding an old email trail is difficult and takes time. However, today I found my old translation, traced the old emails and discovered Carole Wilkinson’s webpage. Florete made it! What’s more, Carole Wilkinson acknowledges my help: https://carolewilkinson.com.au/research/dragon-companion-bibliography/ — for which I’m very grateful.

It took that younger me many hours to produce the translation and email answers, so I’m glad that Florete got published in the end.

Update: in autumn 2018 a kind Facebook friend found a copy of the book, bought it and mailed it to me, so at last I’ve seen how Florete’s story looks in print: on pp. 96-98.

About gawainsmum

I'm an academic researching on the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller, the crusades, religion and the role of women in warfare and in religious life in medieval Europe. This blog will feature developments in my research as it progresses.
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