Researchers have discovered a long-lost version of a medieval romance “novel” containing a sex scene too steamy for even modern publishers.
The French poem, “Le Roman de la Rose” (The Romance of the Rose), tells the story of a courtier wooing a woman — the poems titular “rose.” It was the “Twilight” of its day, a crowd-pleasing romance that was reproduced again and again.
“‘Le Roman de la Rose’ really was the blockbuster of its day,” Marianne Ailes, a medievalist at the University of Bristol in the U.K. who identified the new fragments of the manuscript, said in a statement. “We know how popular it was from the number of surviving manuscripts and fragments, a picture our fragment adds to, and from the number of allusions to the text in other medieval writings.”
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