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Brunsaudebruel [bestiary:horse]

Brunsaudebruel*1a,*1b [OF, Eng. tr.]
ebrouns' saundbruel (Wm. of Palermo 3585)*2a,*2b [ME]
[brun "brown" + sauter "to jump" /or auder(?) to dare + bruelbroil "bois, forêt, taillis, fourré (Godefroy)" thus "Browny who jumped (from) the copse," or, "brown alder bush" (Harry F. Williams)*4]
The horse of King Embron of Apulia-Sicily, the father of the title character Guillaume/William in the 12th century French verse romance, Guillaume de Palerne*1a,*1b There exists a rendition of it in Middle-English, William of Palerne *2a,*2b,*2c.

After Embron's death, the horse was retained by the widowed queen (Felise), and given to Guillaume to break and train.

It may possibly have been the very horse ridden by Embron when he chased after the wolf (the werewolf Alphonse) which snatched away the four-year old Guillaume.

§ Guillaume de Palerne (2nd half 12c.)

This is a non-cyclical romance, that is, not categorizable as Arthurian literature or any other group. However, see the discussion below regarding the interrelationship with other werewolf tales, some of which are set in Arthurian context.

[Plotline] [* I will try to follow the orthography used in Sconduto's modern translation. It will be based on the summary given by Skeat*2b which closely follows the French summary by Michelant (iii-)*1a. There are a number of missing folios in the ME version, therefore, some of the names are lacking.]

The Kingdom of Apulia [* Puille 21 [OF] Pouille [F.]. A territory on the "heel" of the mainland of Italy and part of the Kingdom of Apulia-Sicily unified under the Normans] is ruled by King Embron (Embrons, Embron [OF], Ebron (Michelant) [F.]), whose queen is Felise (   "   31 [OF] ‹lacuna› [ME]), princess of the Emperor of Greece and together they have a son named Guillaume (Guillaumes, Guillaume [OF] willam, william 190 192 [ME]).

A brother of Embron with ambitions to the throne bribe two governesses (named Gloriande and Acelone 41-2 [E., OF]) into murdering the child. But they never have the opportunity to commit the crime, because the child gets snatched away by a wolf. This abduction takes place in their capital city of Palermo, Sicily (Palerne 61 [OF]). The king and queen and their retinue and the child Guillaume was at an orchard. When the wolf bears away the child, the king calls for his horses (Li rois demande ses chevax 99 [OF]) and makes all his vassals follow suit, and "follows [] on the spur" (le suit a esperon 103 [OF]). The wolf reaches the plain and the sea, and swims with the child across Faro or the Straits of Messina (Le Far 115,117 [OF]) to a forest near Rome. The wolf take care of the child in a den and they are fast friends. But while this kindly wolf was out foraging food for him, the child leaves the den and is discovered by a cohwherd who chose to adopt him. The wolf, furiously on the tracks to find his ward, but upon learning of his adoption into the cowherd's home, is satisfied with the outcome.

The reader is now told that the wolf was no wild beast but in fact a werewolf (leu garoul 151 leus garous 182 garox 261 [OF] werwolf 92 passim. [ME]) whose true identity was the son of the King of Spain, except he had been transformed by an evil stepmother named Brande (   "   289 [OF] braunde 121 [ME]), who had applied a magical ointment on him. Only much later will his name Alphonse (Alphons 7299 [OF]; alphiouns 4248 alphouns 4387 4452 [ME]) be disclosed. The werewolf attacked

The story now returns to the child Guillaume, who has been fostered by the cowherd's family for seven years . Then one day when emperor of Rome is out hunting in the forest he sees a wolf chasing stag, and then he encounters the beautiful and noble-looking boy. The emperor learns from the cowherd that the boy was a foundling, originally clothed in rich garment like one of royalty. The emperor bargains with the reluctant cowherd for the custody of the youngster, and makes Guillaume sit behind him on his own charger carrying him back to Rome. The boy was beautiful to behold in the eyes of everyone; and the emperor gives the boy to the care of his beautiful daughter Melior (Meliors, Melior 649, passim. [OF] melior 404 passim. [ME]), who is about the same age as he (about eleven years old), and he serves as her page (vallet [OF] ‹lacuna› [ME]). She will fall madly in love with him, but with her royal pedigree she is hardly a match for the boy of humble origins. In torment, she consults a relative of hers, a daughter of the count of Lombardy (conte de Lombardie [OF]) by the name of Alixandrine (     "     982 [OF], alisaundrine 586 alisaundrines 599 [ME]), who promises to procure a certain herbe (grese, grasndrines [ME]) which will cure her love-sickness in one try or dose. Alixandrine is versed in witchcraft, and she causes William to dream of Melior and to fall hopelessly in love with her

[Relationship to other werewolf tales]
To reiterate, Guillaume de Palerne is a non-cyclical romance or romans mixet. It seems to contain vestigial traces of the werewolf tale of Melion, a knight of Arthur's Court (see «Melion's ring»): both tales there appears a man turned into a wolf, and the name of Melion the knight in that tale phonetically resembles the name of the heroine Melior. There are also obvious parallels to the German heroic poem Wolfdietrich (cf. e.g. «Hildebrand's shield»).

*1a Michelant, Henri Victor, 1811-1890. ed., Guillaume de Palerne, pub. d'après le manuscrit de la Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal &eagrave; Paris par.. (Paris, Firmin Didot et cie, 1876.) [books.google]

*1b Sconduto, Leslie A., 1950- ed. tr., Guillaume de Palerne : an English translation of the 12th century French verse romance.. (Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2004) [books.google]

*2a Madden, Frederic, 1801-1873. ed. The ancient English romance of William and the werwolf; edited from an unique copy in King's college library, Cambridge; (London, Printed by William Nicol, Shakspeare-press, 1832.) [books.google] [Roxburghe Club Series]

*2b Skeat, Walter W. (Walter William), 1835-1912 ed. The Romance of William of Palerne: (otherwise Known as the Romance of "William and the Werewolf", translated from the French at the command of Sir Humphrey de Bohun, about A.D. 1350 to which is added a fragment of the alliterative romance of Alisaunder; translated from the Latin by the same author, about A.D. 1340; the former re-edited from the unique ms. in hte library of King's College, Cambridge; the latter now first edited from the unique ms. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (London, N. Trübner & Co. 1867) [EETS Extras Series 1] [books.google]

*2c Bunt, G. H. V. ed. , William of Palerne : an alliterative romance / re-edited by.. (Groningen : Bouma's Boekhuis, 1985.)

*3 ME version summarized and discussed by Billings, Anna Hunt, A Guide to the English Metrical Romances, pp.41- (New York: Henry Holt, 1901) [books.google]

*4Harry F. Williams, review of "The Foundling and the Werwolf: A Literary-Historical Study of "Guillaume de Palerne" by Charles W. Dunn, Speculum, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan., 1961), pp. 123-125 JSTOR:
"Discussion of the horse's name Brunsaudebruel (p. 66) offers no explanation for the middle part of the word. Two possibilities occur to me, depending on whether this part begins with the s or whether the s is flexional to brun: saude might [le] brun [qui] saute [le (du)] taillis "Browny who jumped (from) the copse," or, if we may see in aude the A. Sax. word alr, aler, whose Latin form is alnus, the name might mean "brown alder bush".




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