*Provence. Region of southeastern France composed of fiefdoms controlled by various noblemen. At the time of this tale, Provence was part of the Kingdom of Naples. The nobles of the territory wage ongoing battles for land and power.
Beaucaire (boh-kayr). Fiefdom of Count Garin, father of the lovelorn Aucassin, located near France’s Mediterranean coast. Most of the story’s action takes place here: the beginning and development of Aucassin’s and Nicolette’s love, their imprisonments, their eventual escapes, and their ultimate return and marriage. The count’s castle, located in the walled town, has a dungeon that becomes Aucassin’s prison when his father locks him up for misdeeds. At Beaucaire, Aucassin first infuriates his father and then makes him proud. The youth, his father’s only heir, sees the fiefdom as a hindrance to his pursuit of Nicolette. However, he has a bond with it and returns to it after several years of exile to take his rightful place as ruler.
Beaucaire’s castle. Home of Nicolette who, though a “slave-girl,” has been reared as the viscount’s godchild. The viscount secretly confines her in a vaulted chamber in the high tower after Count Garin insists that she be exiled. The chamber is marvelously painted and has a window that gives Nicolette a view of a garden. Though locked in, she can listen to the birds...
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