jan shirley french translator and childrens author

French Translations by Jan Shirley

Listed below are some examples of my work. Booksellers can get you any of these except the Parisian Journal which is out of print. The Song of Roland, Daurel and Beton and Garnier's Becket are all in paperback as is the Song of the Cathar War.

Non-historical translations include several children's books such as those by Marcus Pfister and Hans de Beer published by North-South Books, full of enchanting polar bears and glittering fish, and the weird and brilliant Moroccan Myths and Legends written and illustrated by Philippe Fix, Ragged Bears, 2003.

The Inquisitor's Guide

book inquisitors guide translation from french by jan shirleyA Medieval Manual on Heretics by Bernard Gui. How to outwit heretics and pass judgement upon them. An insider's view of the inquisition. Written in the 1320s, available for the first time in English.

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A Parisian Journal 1405-1449

book parisian journal translation from french by jan shirleyOUP, 1968. Translated from the Journal d'un Bourgeois, author unknown, ed. Tuetey, Paris 1881. This edition is out of print. The paperback version advertised by Ravenhall Books has been cancelled and does not exist.

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Garnier's Becket

book garniers beckett translation from french by jan shirleyBy Guernes de Pont-S-Maxence

Published by Phillimore, 1975, reprinted Llanerch 1998

ISBN 1 86143 023 X

This is a prose translation of La Vie Saint Thomas de Cantorbire, a verse biography of the saint by Guernes de Pont-Ste-Maxence. The original is a vivid work, written within a short time of Becket's death in 1170.

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The Song of Roland

book song of roland translation from french by jan shirleyLlanerch 1996, ISBN 1 86143 005 1

A crusade against Moslems in Spain, but the villain, whom Dante casts down into the deepest pits of hell, is a Christian.

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The Song of the Cathar Wars

book song of the cathar wars translation from french by jan shirleyBy William of Tudela and another, Ashgate 1996, ISBN 1-85928-331-4, and in paperback ISBN 0 7546 0388 1

There were two authors to this fine poem, the first was excellent, a pleasure to translate, and his successor, anonymous, is beyond praise.

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Alix Le Clerc: A Vision Fought For and Won

book alix le clerc translation from french by jan shirleyAuthor & illustrator Béatrice Beaumarais & Cécile Jacquerye

This book is a graphic version of Blessed Alix Le Clerc produced for children.

A well written and clever book.

Rainbow Fish to the Rescue

book rainbow fish translation from french by jan shirleyAuthor & illustrator Marcus Pfister

ISBN-10: 3314215053
ISBN-13: 978-3314215056

Published by North-South

Bilingual Test: English, French

Some of these much loved Little Fish and Little Bear books are straightforwardly translated from the original French, but others have been more difficult. Each page carries the original paragraph in French and then below it is the same paragraph but in English. English children can learn French and French children will learn English - how easy it sounds. But when you actually do this work you know you must write English that sounds English, what an English fish or bear would say, and your phrasing creeps away to something that sounds more real, but is further from the original. We don't lose the meaning, but the words come differently, I imagine classrooms full of irritated infants saying But Miss she got it wrong! or across the Channel, Mais non, elle a tort! I hope not.

The Wonderful Valley of Kings

book valley vendee translation from french by jan shirleyPublished by Ouest-France

The guide books called The Wonderful Valley of Kings, Wonderful Vendée and Azay-le-Rideau deal with the Loire valley, the Vendée district on the Atlantic coast just south of Brittany, and the castle of that name on the Loire respectively.

All are published by Ouest-France.

They contain excellent photographs of these beautiful places and a great deal of architectural information, which was not easy to translate when all I had in front of me was the text, and no pictures.

Very technical stuff, but I hope I got it right.

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

book latin kingdom of jerusalem translation from french by jan shirleyAuthor Jean Richard

ISBN 0-444-85092-9

Published by Elsevier, 1979, 2 vols

The Latin Kingdom is a translation of Le Royaume latin de Jérusalem by Jean Richard, Paris, 1953. As well as a narrative of events, it presents an analysis of the way the crusader kingdom functioned, its laws, social structures, ecclesiastical rivalries and economy.

Crusader Syria in the Thirteenth Century

book crusader syria translation from french by jan shirleyAshgate, 1999, ISBN 1-84014-606-0.

The 'Rothelin' Continuation of the History of William of Tyre and part of the Eracles or Acre text; includes a description of Jerusalem, prose narratives of events, and songs composed by angry crusaders lamenting their commanders' laziness and incompetence. Vivid descriptions of e.g. irresponsible crusaders striking deep into enemy territory and then settling down to a picnic.

The Capture of Alexandria

book capture of alexandria translation from french by jan shirleyBy Guillaume de Machaut, Ashgate 2001, ISBN 0 7546 0101 3.

Translated into English blank verse, the mid-14th century octosyllabic Prise d'Alexandrie by Guillaume de Machaut is a sparkling work telling of the life, adventures and gruesome death of Pierre de Lusignan, king of Cyprus and titular king of Jerusalem. Classical gods and goddesses co-operate obligingly with God Almighty, and He with them. Introduction and notes are by Peter Edbury.

Daurel and Beton

book daurel and beton translation from french by jan shirleyLlanerch 1997, ISBN 1 86143 040 X

A rare text, giving us not only an unexpected definition of true nobility but a startling one of medieval childhood.

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Blessed Alix Le Clerc

book blessed alix le clerc translation from french by jan shirleyBy Marie-Claire Tihon, Ashgate 2001, ISBN 0 7546 0101 3.

In 2012 I had the pleasure of translating just under 90,000 words of the Life of Blessed Alix Le Clerc, a sixteenth century woman in the then independent duchy of Lorraine who was one of the founders of the Congregation of Our Lady, a body whose members, Canonesses of St Augustine, are dedicated to prayer and to the setting up and running of free schools for girls - an idea which in Alix's time many people found shocking. Today's Canonesses do this work all over the world.

Ahoy there, Little Polar Bear

book ahoy there little polar bear translation from french by jan shirleyAuthor & illustrator Hans de Beer

ISBN 1-55858-389-0

Published by North-South Books

As he takes a quiet swim, Lars the little polar bear has no idea that another adventure is about to begin. Then a huge net scoops him up and tips him into a fishing boat bound for a distant port. There he will make many new friends, and perhaps they can help him find his way home.

Chronicles of the Crusades

book chronicles of the crusades translation from french by jan shirleyEdited by Elizabeth Hallam

ISBN-10: 1566491932
ISBN-13: 978-1566491938

Published by Guild Publishing and by Weidenfeld & Nicholson Ltd

A magnificent compendium of almost everything known about the crusades from 'the tranquil life of the Muslim East' before the crusaders arrived to the battle of Lepanto and the New World. It has clear maps, brilliant pictures, a wide range of original material in translation and useful comment from modern scholars. Edited by Elizabeth Hallam, published 1989 by Guild Publishing. I was one of the many translators who contributed to this remarkable work.

Moroccan Myths and Legends

book moroccan myths and legends translation from french by jan shirleyAuthor & illustrator Philippe Fix

ISBN 1-85714-280-2

Published by Ragged Bears

This is a strange book, a collection of traditional stories written in French, Contes Populaires du Maroc, by Philippe Fix. He illustrated it too, and you pick it up and think, What good pictures, and stories, a jolly children's book, and then, yes, some of the stories are just that. Then you come to another that makes you flinch and you think Ouch, life wasn't all that easy, was it? Published in French in Paris 2003, my translation by Ragged Bears also 2003.