L.T. Topsfield

Articles About (from Medium Ævum)

Chrétien de Troyes and the Troubadours: Essays in Memory of the Late Leslie Topsfield, by Peter S. Noble, Linda M. Paterson Medium Ævum Vol. 55, No. 1 (1986), 144-145 DOI:10.2307/43628975
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NICHOLAS MANN, L. T. TOPSFIELD (1920-1981) Medium Ævum Vol. 51, No. 1 (1982), 1-2 DOI:10.2307/43632120
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L. T. TOPSFIELD (1920-1981)


Dels vostres trobars esmeratz,
   de las bontatz,
del pretz, del sen, de las rictatz,
en degran esdevenir iai
sel cui pieitz vai.
                                                             (Guiraut de Bornelh)

LESLIE Topsfield's death on 3 November 1981 has robbed Medium Ævum of its new Romance Editor within months of his assuming office.
He was of course no stranger to the journal, or to the Society for the Study of Mediæval Languages and Literature, with which he had long been associated as a member of the Executive Committee and even briefly as Treasurer; but we had much appreciated the help which he had given with the planning of the next few numbers, and keenly regret so brutal an interruption of his collaboration.
    He had brought with him to the Editorial Board the fruits of long editorial experience and exemplary scholarship: a past Secretary of the Modern Humanities Research Association (1950-1955), Editor of the Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies (1955-1957), and contributor to a number of learned journals, he had commended himself to the international scholarly world with his edition of the works of the troubadour Raimon de Miraval in 1971, and to a much wider public with two major studies: Troubadours and Love (1975) and Chretien de Troyes: a Study of the Arthurian Romances (1981; reviewed in this issue, p. 125). It was utterly characteristic that in these most recent works he was concerned to bring difficult and erudite issues to life, and to make the subjects to which he had devoted some 30 years of teaching in Cambridge as vital to his readers as they were to himself.
    Following in the best tradition of his master (and Master of his college, St Catharine's) H. J. Chaytor, he strove to communicate his knowledge of the Middle Ages not solely to a privileged academic audience, but also to increasing numbers of undergraduates who without his stimulus might have remained resolute modernists: in a concrete sense he is one of the unsung heroes of that struggle to revive mediaeval studies which has been such a conspicuous feature of the last two decades. As a pupil, one could not but share the infectious enthusiasm with which [2] he spoke of the troubadours; one could not but admire the breadth of interest and range of reference which illuminated his every discussion and tutorial; one could not but be grateful for the generous way in which he gave of his time to anyone who shared, or longed to be admitted to, his deepest concerns. Nor was his generosity merely academic: his wife Valerie, with whom we mourn, joined with him in hospitality to generations of pupils.
    His was the art of the passionate educator, which made of the troba clus a troba leu even for the uninitiated. But above all it seemed that for Leslie Topsfield that jois which is so central to Provençal poetry was not solely a matter of academic enquiry, but an active principle of life: he truly relished his subject, and gave each one of us a taste for it; such indeed was his involvement with it that we firmly believed that he would regularly debate college affairs in tenso form. Without him, Provençal studies in Britain would be much the poorer; his scholarship, however, will endure; it is his human qualities, and above all his wisdom, kindness and modesty, that should not be forgotten.

NICHOLAS MANN


Publications in the Journal

 
Articles
L. T. Topsfield, INTENTION AND IDEAS IN "FLAMENCA" Medium Ævum Vol. 36, No. 2 (1967), 119-133 DOI:10.2307/43627341
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Reviews
La Lyrique française au moyen âge (xiie-xiiie siècles): contribution à une typologie des genres poétiques médiévaux, by Pierre Bec (L. T. T.) Medium Ævum Vol. 51, No. 1 (1982), 124-125 DOI:10.2307/43632136
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Le Prince d'Aquitaine: essai sur Guillaume IX, son œuvre et son érotique, by Jean Charles Payen (L. T. T.) Medium Ævum Vol. 51, No. 2 (1982), 255-256 DOI:10.2307/43628662
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The Poems of the Troubadour Peire Rogier, by Derek E. T. Nicholson (L. T. TOPSFIELD) Medium Ævum Vol. 48, No. 1 (1979), 120-121 DOI:10.2307/43628426
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Le vocabulaire courtois des troubadours de l'époque classique. (Publications romanes et françaises 135), by Glynnis M. Cropp (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 47, No. 1 (1978), 130-132 DOI:10.2307/43628335
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Anthology of the Provençal Troubadours. Second edition, by R. T. Hill, T. G. Bergin, Thomas G. Bergin, Susan Olson, William D. Paden Jr., Nathaniel Smith (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 44, No. 1 (1975), 81-83 DOI:10.2307/43628084
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The 'Razos de Trobar' of Raimon Vidal and associated texts, by J. H. Marshall (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 43, No. 2 (1974), 166-166 DOI:10.2307/43628007
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The Partisan Voice. A study of the political lyric in France and Germany, 1180-1230, by Karen W. Klein (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 43, No. 3 (1974), 278-281 DOI:10.2307/43628043
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Adenet le Roi: 'Berte aus grans piés', étude littéraire générale, by R. Colliot (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 41, No. 1 (1972), 62-64 DOI:10.2307/43627789
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The Donatz Proensals of Uc Faidit, by J. H. Marshall (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 39, No. 2 (1970), 189-190 DOI:10.2307/43631280
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Les Poèmes de Gaucelm Faidit, troubadour du XIIe siècle, édition critique, by Jean Mouzat (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 38, No. 3 (1969), 319-320 DOI:10.2307/43627574
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Biographies des Troubadours, textes provençaux des XIIIe et XIVe siècles, édition refondue, augmentée d'une traduction française, by A. H. Schutz, Jean Boutière, I.-M. Cluzel (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 37, No. 2 (1968), 197-198 DOI:10.2307/43627438
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Introduction à l'étude de l'ancien provençal, textes d'étude, by F. R. Hamlin, P. T. Ricketts, J. Hathaway (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 37, No. 3 (1968), 309-311 DOI:10.2307/43627473
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Les poésies de Guilhem de Montanhagol. (Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies), by Peter T. Ricketts (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 35, No. 3 (1966), 256-260 DOI:10.2307/43627293
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Las Novas de Guillem de Nivers ('Flamenca'), Introduzione, scelta e Glossario, by Alberto Limentani (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 34, No. 3 (1965), 264-265 DOI:10.2307/43627214
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The Romance of Flamenca, a Provençal poem of the thirteenth century, by Merton Jerome Hubert, Marion E. Porter (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 33, No. 2 (1964), 139-142 DOI:10.2307/43627097
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Les Troubadours. Jaufre, Flamenca, Barlaam et Josaphat, by R. Lavaud, R. Nelli (L. T. Topsfield) Medium Ævum Vol. 31, No. 1 (1962), 65-67 DOI:10.2307/43631171
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