Arthurian Romance : Short Introduction / Edition 1

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This witty and accessible book traces the history of Arthurian romance from medieval to modern times, explaining its enduring appeal.

  • Traces the history of Arthurian romance from medieval to modern times.
  • Covers art and films as well as the great literary works of Arthurian romance.
  • Draws out the changing political, moral and emotional uses of the story.
  • Explains the enduring appeal of the Arthurian legend.
  • Written by an author with vast knowledge of medieval literature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this succinct yet remarkably inclusive book, one of the great English medievalists of our time takes a genuinely European view of the great Arthurian saga. Vastly erudite yet companionable in style, Pearsall succeeds admirably in conveying the pleasures of reading, and in encouraging us to read, the unfolding and unravelling adverntures of Arthur and Guinevere, Lancelot and Merlin." David Wallace, Judith Rodin Professor and Chair, University of Pennsylvania

"Pearsall is a a knowledgeable, astute, and witty guide who writes for all those captivated by Arthurian stories. He unravels the tangled web of medieval romance in England, France, and Germany, explores the 'second coming' of Arthurian themes in the romantic revival of the nineteenth century, and shows how the potent mixture of ennobling love, violence, political idealism, chivalry, pathos, tragedy, myth, honour and shame continues to appeal to our present day and age. Pearsall is a seasoned interpreter whose virtuoso readings of the key texts of Arthurian romance, from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Monty Python, will delight and instruct." Peter Brown, University of Kent at Canterbury

"The author's mastery of the Arthurian tradition results in a book that is both stimulating and learned." Choice

"a book that is, itself, a pleasure to read, both entertaining and erudite. [...] The book's economy and easy-going style should make it appealing to the non-specialist, but Pearsall's scholarly depth and range add a lustre that even the most sophisticated reader will appreciate." MLR

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631233206
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Introductions to Literature Series, #31
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 393,169
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek Pearsall is Gurney Professor of English, Emeritus, at Harvard University and Honorary Research Professor at the University of York. His previous publications include a study of Landscapes and Seasons of the Medieval World (with Elizabeth Salter, 1973), a history of Old English and Middle English Poetry (1977), editions of Piers Plowman (1978) and Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale (1983), a critical study of The Canterbury Tales (1985), The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer (Blackwell Publishing, 1992), and Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology (Blackwell Publishing, 1999).

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Table of Contents


1. The Early Arthur:.

What Is The Historical Evidence af A 'Real' Arthur?.

Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Wace, Roman De Brut.

Layamon's Brut.

2. The Romancing of The Arthurian Story; Chrétien De Troyes:.

The Chivalric Love Romance.

Chrétien De Troyes.

Lancelot, Ou Le Chevalier De La Charrette.

Erec Et Enide.


Yvain, Ou Le Chevalier Au Lion.

Perceval, Ou Le Conte Du Graal, and Its Continuations.

3. The European Flourishing of Arthurian Romance; Lancelot, Tristan, Parzival:.

Medieval French Arthurian Romance In Prose and Verse.

Thurian Romance In Medieval Europe.

Arthurian Romance In Germany.

Gottfried Von Strassburg, Tristan.

4. Arthur, Lancelot, and Gawain In Ricardian England:.

The Alliterative Morte Arthure.

The Stanzaic Morte Arthur.

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight.

5. Malory's Morte D'Arthur:.

Publication and Author.

The Winchester Manuscript.

Book I (Caxton's Books 1-4).

Books II, III And IV (Caxton's Books 5-7).

Book V, 'Sir Tristram of Lyones' (Caxton's Books 8-12).

Book VI, 'The Tale of The Sankgreal' (Caxton's Books 13-17).

Books VII And VIII (Caxton's Books 18-21).

The Romance of Adventure.

The Tragedy of Lancelot.

6. The Arthurian Sleep and The Romantic Revival; Tennyson's Idylls of The King:.

Edmund Spenser.

Arthur In The Seventeenth Century.

Arthur In The Eighteenth Century.

Sir Walter Scott.

'The Return To Camelot'.

Tennyson's Idylls of The King.

Victorian Arthurianism.

7. Mark Twain, T.H.White, John Steinbeck, and The Modern Arthur:.

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.

T.H.White, The Once and Future King.

John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights.

The Modern Arthur: Novels and Films.

Bibliography of Works Cited and Further Reading.


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