Synopses & Reviews
Although he didn't invent the Round Table or the tales of its fellowship, the twelfth-century poet Chrand#233;tien de Troyes was the first to recount in verse the adventures of Arthur's knights. He is also chiefly responsible for establishing the importance of the Arthurian legend in European literature and assuring its survival into modern times. This sensitive translation of Chrand#233;tien's verse narratives features four romances, including those of Erec and Enide, Cligand#233;s, Yvain, and Lancelot.
Erec and Enide's tale illustrates how honor can be restored to a troubled relationship through acts of public duty. Cligand#233;s' tale involves a forbidden relationship, in which a knight falls in love with his queen--who is also his uncle's wife. The story of Yvain explores the effects of long-term absence on a questing knight's marriage. Lancelot's adventure, the rescue of Guinevere, is Chrand#233;tien's enduring contribution to the tradition of Arthurian myth. The version included is a principal source of Mallory's popular Le Morte d'Arthur. Lively and accessible, these four romances form the most complete expression of the ideals of French chivalry by a single author.
Dover (2006) republication of the edition published by E. P. Dutton and Co., New York, 1913.
The 12th-century poet Chrétien de Troyes is chiefly responsible for the preservation of Arthurian myth and its eminent role in European literature. This sensitive translation of his verse narratives features four romances. Its tales of Lancelot and early Grail legends offer lively, accessible views of the ideals of French chivalry.