La Dame de Landuc
The Lady of the Fountain who became Yvain’s wife after Yvain (Ywaine) killed her husband, Esclados the Red. 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 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.
Yvain, or Le Chevalier au Lion | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Iwein | Hartmann von Aue, late 12th century
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Ywain and Gawain | 1310–1340