Erec and Enide / Edition 1

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Erec and Enide marks the birth of the Arthurian romance as a literary genre. Written circa 1170, this version of the Griselda legend tells the story of the marriage of Erec, a handsome and courageous Welsh prince and knight of the Round Table, and Enide, an impoverished noblewoman. When the lovers become estranged because Erec neglects his knightly obligations, they subsequently ride off together on a series of adventures that culminate in their reconciliation and the liberation of a captive knight in an enchanted orchard.

An innovative poet working during a time of great literary creativity, Chrétien de Troyes wrote poems that had a lively pace, skillful structure, and vivid descriptive detail. Ruth Harwood Cline re-creates for modern audiences his irony, humor, and charm, while retaining the style and substance of the original octosyllabic couplets. Her thorough introduction includes discussions of courtly love and the Arthurian legend in history and literature, as well as a new and provocative theory about the identity of Chrétien de Troyes. This clearly presented translation, faithful in preserving the subtle expressive qualities of the original work, is accessible reading for any Arthurian legend aficionado and an ideal text for students of medieval literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Anglophone students and general readers can trust that Cline's translations, surely a sustained labor of love, are faithful to the poignant characters and suspenseful situations that make Chrétien's earliest romances well worth reading."--Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

"The English speaking world is indebted to Chrétien for shaping this marvelous legend and to Cline for an accurate translation."--South Atlantic Review

"Her work constitutes the finest poetic translations now available of Chrétien's romances."--Arthuriana

Library Journal
A new verse translation makes this first Arthurian romance (composed around A.D. 1170), also the first of five extant works by French court poet Chretien de Troyes, a pleasure to read. Erec and Enide, newly married and lost in erotic, conjugal bliss, are brought back to reality when gossip suggests that Erec, son of a king, prefers life at home to the existence of a fearless, heroic knight. Celtic legend, classical motifs, and ecclesiastical elements are masterfully interwoven in this tale, whose colloquial translation brings to life the clashing sounds of battle, de Troyes's multiple poetic tones and colorful expressions, and the rhyme and meter of the original's lively octosyllabios. This is not a literal translation along the lines of Carleton W. Carroll's (Garland, 1987), yet it remains scholarly and mindful of the vocabulary of de Troyes's day. Both scholars and general readers will surely enjoy this story of the quest for honor, glory, and the Arthurian way.-- Danielle Mihram, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820321417
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author

Ruth Harwood Cline is a research associate in the department of history at Georgetown University.
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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
The Hunt of the White Stag 2
The Sparrow Hawk 11
The Kiss 37
Erec's Wedding 53
The Edinburgh Tournament 61
Erec's Departure for Carnant 65
Enide Recalls Erec to Chivalry 73
The Three Robbers 82
The Five Robbers 86
Count Galoain 91
Guivret the Small 107
King Arthur's Court 115
Cadoc of Cabruel and Two Giants 126
Count Oringle of Limors 134
Guivret Returns 144
Guivret's Sisters 149
The Joy of the Court 157
Erec's Coronation 189
Notes 203
Bibliography 215
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