Welsh Bestiaire d’amour

  • Middle Welsh
  • prose

A Welsh-language adaptation of (part of) Le bestiaire d’amour, a work of prose written in the middle of the 13th century by Richard de Fournival, in which each beast represents a different aspect of love.

Welsh Bestiaire d’amour

The edition of the text by Graham Thomas is entitled A Welsh bestiary of love. Welsh prose 1300–1425 uses a Welsh title, Bwystoriau (also spelled Bwystorïau), ‘Bestiaries’.


According to Thomas, the four surviving copies (A, B, C and D below) are ultimately based on a single Welsh translation.

D =
ff. 38v–44r
This text is close to C (NLW 13075B). It was not reproduced by Thomas, but variants from it are found in notes to the C-text.
  • Middle Welsh
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: Bestiaire d'amour (Richard de Fournival)Bestiaire d'amour (Richard de Fournival)View incoming data




Courtly loveCourtly love


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[dipl. ed.] Thomas, Peter Wynn [ed.], D. Mark Smith, and Diana Luft [transcribers and encoders], Welsh prose (Rhyddiaith Gymraeg) 1300–1425, Online: Cardiff University, 2007–present. URL: <http://www.rhyddiaithganoloesol.caerdydd.ac.uk>.
Diplomatic edition of the fragment in Llanstephan 4.
direct link
[ed.] Thomas, Graham C. G. [ed.], A Welsh bestiary of love: being a translation into Welsh of Richart de Fornival’s Bestiaire d’amour, Mediaeval and Modern Welsh Series, 9, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1988.
Editions of the A, B and C texts, the latter with variants from version D.
[ed.] Jones, David, Cydymaith diddan. Yn ddwy rann [...], Caer Lleon [Chester], 1766.  
A collection of Welsh prose and poetry.
Google Books – Metadata suggest 1770 as the year of publication: <link> Google Books – Metadata suggest 1770 as the year of publication: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Watkins, T. Arwyn, “Trefn goddrych a berf yng ngosodiad cadarnhaol cyfieithiad Cymraeg o ‘Bestiaire d’amour’”, in: John Carey, John T. Koch, and Pierre-Yves Lambert (eds), Ildánach Ildírech. A festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana, 4, Andover and Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 1999. 277–288.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
November 2022, last updated: June 2023