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"The Key to 'The Name of the Rose' is a conversation with readers of The Name of the Rose. You will find it a wonderfully illuminating conversation that furthers and deepens your reading experience. The authors' scholarship is as unerring as their sense of fun: The Key is full of bizarre characters and mirthful anecdotes. It is, in truth, a delightful guide not just to The Name of the Rose, but to the Middle Ages. For those who have read and enjoyed The Name of the Rose, this key will prove a belated boom; for those who have been intending to take the plunge, The Key is a real lifesaver, time-saver, decoder. But it is also a pleasure in itself."
Originally published in 1987, The Key to 'The Name of the Rose' remains the only commentary on Umberto Eco's historical novel available in English. With over twenty translations of The Name of the Rose available there was a great need for commentaries in other languages.
Whatever has brought or returned you to Eco's masterpiece, The Key to 'The Name of the Rose' will serve as a scholarly but readable companion, one that will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of Eco's intricate text.
Author's Notes 15
Chapter One: Umberto Eco, Semiotics, and Medieval Thought 19
Chapter Two: A Brief Chronology of the Middle Ages 31
Chapter Three: An Annotated Guide to the Historical and Literary References in The Name of the Rose 35
Chapter Four: Notes on the Text of The Name of the Rose Including Translations of All Non-English Passages 94
Postscript: For Those Who Have Finished The Name of the Rose 177
Works by Umberto Eco 185
About the Authors 193