Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance

Eight New Translations


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About the Book

This volume offers newly translated texts that exemplify the two most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages. Encompassing such key works such as Lawman’s Brut and Wace’s Romance of Brut, written in Middle English and Old French, respectively, the Arthurian Epic Tradition depends on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, written in Latin. Many modern readers are more familiar with Arthur and his fabled court as the centerpiece of a massive fictional tradition, well represented in the second part of this volume, including Chrétien de Troyes’s Story of the Grail, The Quest of the Holy Grail, and the Perlesvaus. These selections emphasize the connection between secular and religious understandings of chivalry that is the most distinctive quality of medieval Arthurian romance. Useful as a classroom text, the volume provides material for a semester’s worth of study.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

William W. Kibler is the Superior Oil-Linward Shivers Centennial Professor of Medieval Studies (emeritus) at the University of Texas. He is the author or editor of numerous works on medieval French literature and language, including, as translator, the romances of Chrétien de Troyes. He lives in Austin, Texas.

R. Barton Palmer is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University. He has published numerous works on the English, French, and Latin literature of the later Middle Ages, and is the translator, with William Kibler and others, of several anthologies of medieval texts. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4779-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1466-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I: Arthurian Epic
Geoffrey of Monmouth. Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain): A Selection 4
Wace. Roman de Brut (The Romance of Brutus): A Selection 30
Lawman. Brut: A Selection 50

Part II: Arthurian Romance
Arthur in Early Wales/Culhwch and Olwen 70
Chrétien de Troyes. Perceval (The Story of the Grail) 99
Perlesvaus (Le Haut Livre du Graal): Selections 194
La Queste del Saint Graal (The Quest of the Holy Grail): Selections 235
La Mule sans Frein (The Girl with the Mule) 272

Selected Bibliography 285
About the Contributors 289
Index 291

Book Reviews & Awards

“A most welcome addition to the repertoire of Arthurian texts in translation”—Speculum