Female. Education: Holds a doctorate.
Office—Pembroke College, Trumpington St., Cambridge CB2 1RF, England. E-mail—[email protected]
From Song to Book: The Poetics of Writing in Old French Lyric and Lyrical Narrative Poetry, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1987.
Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet: The Sacred and the Profane in Thirteenth-Century Polyphony, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1997.
(With Peter Lefferts) Five Ballades for the House of Foix, Antico Edition (North Harton, Newton Abbot, Devon, England), 1989.
(With Kevin Brownlee) Rethinking "The Romance of the Rose": Text, Image, Reception, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1992.
Contributor to numerous scholarly journals.
Author Sylvia Huot is an expert in medieval French literature, and her writings focus on this subject. In her book "The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers: Interpretation, Reception, Manuscript Transmission, Huot analyzes several original manuscripts of the late medieval French poem "The Romance of the Rose." The poem was one of the most important texts of the French Middle Ages, and Huot examines the historical and cultural context in which it was received. The author shows the many different ways that "The Romance of the Rose" was interpreted, demonstrating the dynamic nature of literature itself.
"The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers received much critical praise. Lori J. Walters, writing in Romance Philology, felt that "Huot's work makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of research on textual criticism," and further commented, "This is an excellent study, keen in its details and sweeping in its overall implications." Medium Aevum contributor Jillian Hill agreed, pointing out the "abundance of fascinating information," in the book, and concluding that "the book is likely to become a landmark in Rose scholarship." Additionally, Derek Pearsall, writing in the Review of English Studies, stated, "This is a splendid book, imposing in its command of the manuscript tradition of the Rose and measured, judicious, and yet quietly original in its approach," and called the book "the most important book that has been written on the Romance of the Rose."
Huot followed "The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers with Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet: The Sacred and the Profane in Thirteenth-Century Polyphony. The book focuses on thirteenth-century French motets, or varied choral musical compositions. Huot explores the verbal texts of the motets from a literary perspective by showing how they relate to other literature genres. Reviews of Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet were mixed. "Huot's work, with its greatly enriched cultural context, and its broadened view of the artistic coherence and play of the vernacular motet, will fuel much further study," noted Lawrence Earp in Modern Philology, who also added that the author's "references provide an excellent path through potentially confusing and treacherous territory." Although Music & Letters reviewer Thomas Brothers felt that "sometimes the analysis seems forced beyond reasonable speculation," he acknowledged that the author "makes a fine contribution" towards the "understanding of the motet as a cultural phenomenon."
In 2003 Huot published Madness in Medieval French Literature: Identities Found and Lost. In the book, Huot examines representations of madness in French texts from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. The author specifically focuses on the relationship between madness and identity in the literature. "In a considerable departure from her previous work, Huot again succeeds in shedding new light on old questions," noted Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski in Medium Aevum, who further called Madness in Medieval French Literature a "densely argued book" and a "complex study."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Medium Aevum, spring, 1994, Jillian Hill, review of Rethinking "The Romance of the Rose": Text, Image, Reception, p. 147; fall, 1995, Jillian Hill, review of "The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers: Interpretation, Reception, Manuscript Transmission, p. 333; fall, 2004, Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, review of Madness in Medieval French Literature: Identities Found and Lost, p. 352.
Modern Philology, August, 2000, Lawrence Earp, review of Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet: The Sacred and the Profane in Thirteenth-Century Polyphony, p. 6.
Music & Letters, November, 1998, Thomas Brothers, review of Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet, p. 584.
Review of English Studies, November, 1995, Derek Pearsall, review of "The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers, p. 552.
Romance Philology, May, 1998, Lori J. Walters, review of "The Romance of the Rose" and Its Medieval Readers, p. 509.
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages Web site,http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/ (June 28, 2006), author profile.