Laudine of Landuc
Analida, Alundyne, La Dame de Landuc
The Lady of the Fountain who became Yvain’s wife after Yvain killed her husband, Esclados. She was the daughter of Laudunet. She married her husband’s killer to ensure that her lands would be protected. When Yvain stayed away from her for over a year, she renounced him. After a series of adventures, Yvain was able to return to her favor. According to Heinrich von dem Türlin, she later failed a chastity test at Arthur’s court.
Chrétien gives us her name only in line 2151 of Yvain; but according to D.D.R. Owen's note to that verse, most of the manuscripts have not "Laudine of Landuc", but "la dame de Landuc". Was Landuc her father Duke Laudunet's domain, or was it the castle and the territory of her husband Esclados ... or were they, perhaps, one and the same property, inherited from her father and shared with her successive husbands? Owen, citing Loomis, suggests that "Laudine" might derive from a form of "Lothian" and point to early Scottish origins. Ruth Harwood Cline states that Chrétien giving his name as "of Troyes" implies that he was not at the time living in Troyes, but Susan Haskins quotes a mystery play of 1486 in which Mary Magdalen is chatelaine of the castle of Magdalen, thus explaining her name. It would appear that Landuc might or might not be the name of the castle in which Ywaine (Owain) finds Laudine residing.
How seriously are we expected to interpret Laudine's angry statements of undying hatred for Ywaine at various stages of romance? The proper actress could so deliver these speeches as to give Laudine's subsequent capitulations perfect psychological plausibility.
Not Lunette, but a second capable maiden of Dame Laudine's.
This damsel arrives alone, mounted on a black palfrey with white feet, to find Ywaine at Chester, where Arthur is holding a mid-August court and tournament. Having taken off her mantle - this may have some significance in courtly protocol - she marches into the tent and up to Arthur, greets him and all his other knights, singles Ywaine out for a tirade of about sixty lines reminding him that he had promised to return to his wife by Saint John's Day, informs him that he has broken Laudine's heart by failing to keep his word, and demands Laudine's ring back.
When he sits stricken dumb, she pulls the ring off his finger and takes her leave, commending the king and everyone else except the guilty party to God. In her tirade, she lays and all but formal accusation of treachery against that person who brought about Ywaine's marriage to Laudine. It sounds as if she means Lunette and may have some connection with Laudine's seneschal, who later makes the accusation formal.
When worn by a true lover, its stone had the power to protect him from wounds and loss of blood, making his flesh harder than iron. Laudine gave it to her new-wedded lord Ywaine when he left for his year on the tournament round. After he stayed away about six weeks overtime, she sent a damsel who reclaimed it on her behalf, with the message:
Don't come home.
Laudine's Seneschal and His Brothers
Described as neither stammerer nor laggard, although either unwilling on for some reason himself ineligible to take on the role of guardian of the marvelous spring, this knight urges Laudine's council to advise her to take Ywaine as her new husband after the death of Esclados.
Arthur is coming, and the seneschal emphasizes Arthur's supposed intention of warring against them and laying waste their land. The thought that a single good man as their lady's husband and the spring's protector can avert this catastrophe shows the perceived value of strong leadership; the context also shows that the seneschal feels himself unqualified to provide the same leadership. His moral defects appear later: when Ywaine overstays the year's leave of absence Laudine granted him, the seneschal charges Lunette with treason for having promoted the marriage.
Feeling cocky in her innocence, Lunette offers to have her case defended in trial by combat by one against three. Instead of declining this offer, which would have been the courtly course and one she expected him to take, he enlists his two brothers to help him await her single champion. Then, when Ywaine shows up (incognito) with his lion, the seneschal insist on the beast's staying out of the three-against-one combat. The seneschal's foresight is foiled, however, disobeying Ywaine's orders, the lion eventually jumps into the fray and wounds the seneschal mortally, facilitating Ywaine's victory. Laudine's seneschal and his brothers end burnt on the pyre originally intended for Lunette.
Phyllis Ann Karr suspect a connection between this seneschal and Laudines' unnamned damsel, but can find no allusion in the text to any such liaison. Instead, Lunette herself states envy of her own position to have been the seneschal's motive. It also occurs to me that the seneschal's original speech to Laudine's council plays in so beautifully with Lunette's own matchmaking as to suggest that when the marraige seems to go badly sour, the seneschal may turn against Lunette in order to forestall being accused himself.