French Literature

Chretien de Troyes. Arthurian Romances. London: J.M. Dent, 1914, 1984.
A translation of four tales by Chretien: Erec et Enide, Cliges, Yvain, and Lancelot (LeChevalier de la charrette).
---. Les Romans de Chretien de Troyes: Erec et Enide, Le Chevalier de la charrette, andLe Chevalier au Lion (Yvain). ed. by Mario Roques. Paris: Champion, 1952, 1958, 1960. Cliges. ed. by Alexandre Micha. Paris: Champion, 1958. Le Conte du Graal (Perceval). ed. by Felix Lecoy. Paris: Champion, 1973.

Chretien is probably the single most influential Romance writer in the Arthurian legend. Theauthor explores the notion of Arthurian chivilary throughout his five romances, alwayskeeping Arthur's court at the center of the story that he is telling, although King Arthur, isnever at the center of the story. Erec et Enide is a tale of the conflict of love and duty;Cliges tells of a similar tale, but dealing with a father and a son; Le Chevalier de lacharrette brings Lancelot onto the Arthurian stage, together with his adulterous affair withArthur's Queen; Le Chevalier au lion, also known as Yvain, tells of a less scandalous loveaffair; while the final romance, Le Conte du Graal, or Perceval, introduces the grail to thelegend, though not yet as the cup of the Last Supper. These tales highly influencedsubsequent writers, and gave shape to the legend's traditional form.
Marie de France. Lais. ed. by Alfred Ewart. Oxford: Blackwell, 1960.

Marie composed two Lais that dealt with the Arthurian legend: Chevrefueil and Lanval. Thefirst tells of an encounter between Tristan and Isolde; the second tells of how a knight ofArthur's court fends off the advances of Guinevere because of his love for a fairy lady.
Robert de Boron. The Didot-Perceval. ed. by William Roach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1941.

The prose redaction of Robert's Perceval tale. In it the traditional Perceval story is told;however, the tale becomes the story of Arthur's downfall and is based on the story in Geoffreyof Monmouth's Historia.
---. Le Roman de l'Estoire du Graal. ed. by William Nitze. Paris: Champion, 1927.

Called Joseph d'Arimathie by scholars, this tale tells the story of the removal of the Grailfrom the Holy Land to Britain and the preparation for Perceval's keepership of the Grail. Robert here identifies Chretien's grail as the cup of the Last Supper.
---. Merlin, roman du XIIIe siecle. ed. by Alexandre Micha. Geneva: Droz, 1979.

Robert is credited with writing a tale of Merlin's life and how he became Arthur's counsellor. Of the verse version that was penned by Robert only 504 lines survive. However, this, andother verse romances were adapted to prose, which still survive today.
Sommer, H. Oskar, ed. The Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances. 8 vols. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1908-1916.

"The Vulgate Cycle" was written between 1215 and 1235. It marks the transition betweenverse and prose versions of the legend. Containing the romances Estoire del Saint Graal,Merlin, Lancelot, Queste del Saint Graal, and Mort (Le Roi) Artu, the Vulgate sets a morereligious tone than in the previous romances. It establishes the history of the Holy Grail,beginning with its removal to Britain and ending with its rediscovery by the questing knight. The Mort Artu is more of a "rounding off" for the cycle and the Second Coming of Arthur isestablished among the biblical treatise of the last pages.
Wace. Le Roman de Brut. ed. by I. Arnold. 2 vols. Paris: SATF, 1938-1940.

Considered one of the key texts to Arthurian studies, the Brut is based on Geoffrey ofMonmouth's Historia regum Britanniae. Wace, however, mentions the Round Table for thefirst time and mentions the Breton hope of Arthur's return from Avalon.

Secondary Works

46. Bogdanow, Fanni. "The Suite du Merlin and the Post-Vulgate Roman du Graal." In Arthurian Literature through the Middle Ages. ed. Roger Sherman Loomis. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959): 325-335.

Commonly referred to as the "Post-Vulgate Cycle" these tales no longer survive. Reconstructed from scattered fragments and translations, the Post-Vulgate is a considered acontinuation of the Vulgate Cycle, but unlike the Vulgate, this version was set in threephases.

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