This work demonstrates a methodology to extract the full cultural richness of a medieval text composed within a largely oral culture. Maureen Slattery re-examines the traditional literary manner of reading Joinville's classic medieval portrait of the famous thirteenth century king and saint: Louis IX of France. By distingui- shing and analyzing the royal motifs of Joinville's oral, eye-witness and written sources, the study illustrates a plurality of social meanings surrounding King Louis. Joinville's oral sources speak the collective popular myths and primi- tive mentalities surrounding the French monarchy. His visual witness, one of the first lay accounts of a Capelian king, individualizes Louis with the emerging modern vision of noble lineage. His written sources eulogize the king within clerical literary traditions of the public monarch and sovereign saint. This textual analysis unearths distinct layers of tradition surrounding the king. Both Louis and Joinville emerge very different from what they were in earlier scholarship.