The literature of towns

  • David Herlihy
Part of the Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The French fabliaux, poetic short stories written in eight-syllable verses, present lively (and often salacious) narratives with little character development but with much wit and comedy. The following tale, “The Peasant Doctor,” gives a good example of the genre’s robust good humor. The selection is taken from Fabliaux: Ribald Tales from the Old French for the First Time Done into English, by Robert Heilman and Richard O’Gorman. Copyright © 1965 by Robert Hellman and Richard O’Gorman. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York, publishers. Pp. 71–80. The editor is grateful for permission to reprint it here.


Great Pain Sick People Young Lady Favorite Theme French Original 
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© David Herlihy 1968

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  • David Herlihy

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