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Designating the French language as spoken and written in the British Isles from the Norman Conquest until the 14th cent. It was a western type of French which, transplanted to Britain, developed characteristics of its own at an increasing rate. The earliest Anglo‐Norman work of real literary merit, The Voyage of St Brendan, composed in the first half of the 12th cent., shows relatively few insular traits, whereas the French of the Contes Moralisés of Nicole Bozon (early 14th cent.) illustrates the disintegration of later Anglo‐Norman. The French of Gower in his Mirour de l'Omme is continental French, which was studied in its own right by Englishmen of the later medieval period. Anglo‐Norman has many works of a moralizing nature as well as chronicles and practical works drawn from Latin sources. The Mystère d'Adam (see Adam), the first French dramatic work of any moment, was almost certainly written in England. An Anglo‐Norman type of French continued to be used for official documents and in English courts of law long after it had ceased to be spoken.

Subjects: Literature.

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