THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID & SEVEN FABLES
In this 2009 translation, Seamus Heaney once again took a landmark of medieval literature – this time the work of the fifteenth-century Scottish poet Robert Henryson – and recast it in his own language. Henryson was profoundly influenced by Chaucer and his greatest poem is the narrative Testament of Cresseid, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, which completes the story of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyd. Henryson was also a comic master of the verse fable, as evidenced by the seven fables also included in this volume. His caricatures of human weakness in the guise of animal wisdom are laced with delicate comedy and irony, and Heaney captures their freshness and humour down to the smallest detail.
At the time of his death, Heaney was collaborating on animations of five of these fables, narrated by the Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly. These short animated films were screened on BBC in 2014, and brought together in an app, along with scholarly analysis of the poems and translations, and contributions from Heaney himself.