To Content the Continent. The Dutch Narratives Merlijn and Jacke Compared to Their English Counterparts

Elisabeth de Bruijn


The early printed romances Van den jongen geheeten Jacke (1928) and the Historie van Merlijn (c. 1540) belong to the few Middle Dutch narrative texts that were translated from English sources. In this article, Jacke and Merlijn are compared to their respective English source texts: The Frere and the Boye (c. 1510) and A lytel treatyse of ye byrth and prophecye of Marlyn (earliest edition c. 1499). The (dis)similarities between the Dutch editions and their English counterparts are interpreted in view of the literary-historical context. It is shown that some of the editions’ most specific characteristics can be explained from literary and poetical differences in the Dutch and English language areas.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521