Set in the time of Clovis, the anonymously authored Partonope de Blois narrates the travels of its eponymously named hero, who is carried off to a strange land against his will while hunting. After he is lavishly fed by invisible hands, he sleeps, and then falls in love with the invisible Empress Melior of Byzantium. The invisible acts – both the feasting and the sleeping – persist for over a year before a series of betrayals disrupt Melior’s magical ability to visit Partonope. This inspires the young knight to enter a tournament held by her Barons, and win her hand in marriage.
Based on its linguistic eccentricities and authorial attribution to Walter Map, the only Italian copy of this text may have used a Norman or Anglo-Norman original as its model. The manuscript also contains a series of love lyrics, added later to the codex in Italian.
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, nouv. acq. fr. 7516
Partonopeu de Blois, ed. Joseph Gildea and Leon P. Smith, 2 vols (Villanova: Villanova University Press, 1969-1970).
Penny Eley, Partonopeus de Blois: Romance in the Making (New York: Boydell & Brewer, 2011), 216.