The Fables of Reynard the Fox are among the longest-established literary traditions in Western history. Reynard the Fox himself ties the various tales together which comprise of beasts satirically taking the places of various human character tropes. The given name Reynard is from Reginhard, Raginohardus – ‘strong in counsel’.
The underlying framework of this popular medieval literary form is a series of stories linked by common characters. In Reynard the Fox, the character of Reynard provides the connective thread. In addition, the point of such beast fables is satire of the contemporary social and political scenes. Reynard the Fox satirizes the royal court, the judicial system, and many other aspects of medieval life.
These humourous tales have proven so popular that the word ‘renard’ has replaced the word for fox in French. Although he is cowardly and self-seeking, Reynard himself is a sympathetic hero and a strikingly accurate mirror of the human condition.
“Reynard – a subversive, dashing, anarchic, aristocratic, witty fox from the watery lowlands of medieval East Flanders is in trouble. He has been summoned to the court of King Noble the Lion, charged with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors. How will he pit his wits against his accusers to escape the gallows?”
Reynard was once the most popular and beloved character in European folklore, as familiar as Robin Hood, King Arthur, or Cinderella. His character spoke eloquently for the voiceless and disenfranchised, but also amused and delighted the elite, capturing hearts and minds across borders and societal classes for centuries.
With its themes of protest, resistance and duplicity fronted by a personable, anti-heroic Fox making his way in a dangerous and cruel world, this gripping fable is as relevant and controversial today as it was in the fifteenth century.
The master craftsmen at Berkeley Chess have brought these medieval fables to life with the key characters included, into this wonderful Chess Set with a rich cream and russet brown finish
The King: Noble the Lion
The Queen: Tybert the Cat
The Bishop: Reynard the Fox
The Knight: Baldwin the Ass
The Rook: Bruin the Bear
The Pawn: Grimbard the Badger
King Height 190mm (7.6″) King Diameter 48mm (1.8″) King Weight 370g (13.5oz)
Recommended Board Match:
Wenge and Maple Deluxe 60mm Squares – see 2nd to last photo for board
Walnut and Maple Deluxe 60mm Squares – see last photo for board