Origins of Arthurian Romances

Early Sources for the Legends of Tristan, the Grail and the Abduction of the Queen


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About the Book

There are three archetypal and widespread Arthurian stories—the abduction of Guinevere, the Holy Grail, and Tristan. Through the author’s painstaking research of the literature and comparative literature of the stories, and by studying the history, laws, and archaeology of the post–Roman period, a new methodology was found for approaching sources. This led to strong reasons for making a number of groundbreaking conclusions. Arthurian literature is a potential wealth of information on Arthur’s Britain. More importantly, the nature of the holy grail has been in the grail literature and related materials all along.

About the Author(s)

Flint F. Johnson is an independent scholar whose academic areas of interest include post–Roman British history, Heroic Age Greek and Norse history, and the cultures existing before the first river valley civilizations. He lives in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Flint F. Johnson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6858-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9234-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Source Abbreviations 3
Introduction 5

Part One: The Abduction of the Queen
1. Introduction to the Material 9
2. Chrétien’s Known Sources and Influences 14
3. The Characters and Their Roles 31
4. Literary Tools for Supplementary Material 38
5. Motifs and Details: Clues of Celtic Origins 46
6. The Sixth Century in Chrétien 64
7. Conclusion 71

Part Two: The Holy Object
8. Introduction to Le Conte du Graal 75
9. Philip of Flanders, Life and Influences 79
10. Grail Theories 83
11. The Characters and Their Roles 100
12. Literary Tools for Supplementary Material 107
13. Religion in Fifth and ­Sixth ­Century Britain 118
14. Motifs and Details: Clues of Celtic Origins 122
15. The Sixth Century in Chrétien 129
16. Conclusion 131

Part Three: Tristan
17. Introduction to the Tristan Legend 137
18. The Characters and Their Roles 146
19. Thomas of Britain 155
20. The Literary Source Material 158
21. Motifs and Details: Clues of Celtic Origins 167
22. The Sixth Century in Tristan 172
23. Conclusion 176

Appendix: Additional Thoughts 179
Chapter Notes 185
Bibliography 211
Index 225