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Possible depiction of the author. Historiated Q from the Vienna manuscript of Meraugis (codex 2599, 14th cent.). [1][2]

Raoul de Houdenc (or Houdan) c.1165–c.1230[3] was the French author of the Arthurian romance Meraugis de Portlesguez and possibly La Vengeance Raguidel. Modern scholarship suggest he is probably to be identified with one Radulfus from Hodenc-en-Bray.[3] Raoul de Houdenc was esteemed as a master poet in the ranks of Chrétien de Troyes by Huon de Méry (Tournoiement de l’Antéchrist, 1226).[4][5]



Raoul de Houdenc takes his name from his native place. Of twelve possibilities,[4] Houdenc in Artois was once thought the most likely candidate.[4] But current scholarship favors identifying the author with Radulfus de Hosdenc from Hodenc-en-Bray near Beauvais.[3]

His works are now seen as the product of the first quarter of the 13th century,[5] though past scholars tended to date the production earlier, perhaps in the 12th century. (See: Past scholarship.)

It has been suggested that he was a monk, but from the scattered hints in his writings it seems more probable that he followed the trade of trouvère (or jongleur) and recited his chansons, with small success apparently, in the houses of the great. He was well acquainted with Paris, and probably spent a great part of his life there.[4]


The works which by current general consensus attributed to him are:[6].

La Voie de paradis is the sequel to Le Songe d'enfer, but on whether it is penned by the same Raoul there is no firm agreement.[6]

Past scholarshipEdit

Earlier scholars embraced the notion that Raoul de Houdenc was not younger than Chrétien de Troyes by many years.[9] Accordingly, early editors of Raoul's works such as H. Michelant and A. Scheler dated their production in the 12th century.[9] According to Friedwagner, Gaston Paris too initially assessed Raoul's writing activity to have occurred around the late 12th to early 13th century,[9][10] but later reconsidered the dates to c. 1210–1220.[9][11] Friedwagner himself felt the writings occurred in the first decade of the 13th century, i.e. 1201–1210,[9] an attribution repeated by at least one modern scholar.[12]


  1. ^ Busby 2000, pp. 96, 104
  2. ^ Busby 2002, p. 423
  3. ^ a b c Busby 1983, p. 15, citing Fourrier 1964
  4. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Houdenc, Raoul de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 807–808.
  5. ^ a b Lacy 2013, New Arthurian Encyclopedia, p.379, "Raoul de Houdenc", contributed by Keith Busby (KB).
  6. ^ a b Busby 1983, p. 14
  7. ^ Schmolke-Hasselmann, Beate (1998). The Evolution of Arthurian Romance: The Verse Tradition from Chrétien to Froissart. Margaret Middleton, Roger Middleton (translators). Cambridge University Press. p. 143. ISBN 052141153X.
  8. ^ Busby 1983
  9. ^ a b c d e Friedwagner 1897, pp. lxiii-lxiv, volume I
  10. ^ Paris 1888, p. 222, Friedwagner cites Paris, p. 222, where Paris seems to say that Raoul was long dead when Huon de Méry wrote in 1226. There is also Paris's comment on p. 237 that the author of Durmart must have laid eyes on the works of Raoul de Houdenc, combined with Paris's dating of Durmart (Paris, pp. 141–159)
  11. ^ Friedwagner cites G. Paris, La littérature française au Moyen Age, S.250
  12. ^ Middleton, Roger, "Enide's See-through Dress", in Wheeler, Bonnie (ed.), Arthurian Studies in Honour of P.J.C. Field, p. 151, ISBN 1843840138



Le Songe d'enfer
La Voie de paradis
Le Roman des eles
Meraugis de Portlesguez


External linksEdit