Arthurianism in Early Plantagenet England

February 2019
1 line illustrations
378 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9781783273744
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC LIT011000, HIS037010

Arthurianism in Early Plantagenet England

from Henry II to Edward I

Christopher Michael Berard

First full-scale account of the use of the Arthurian legend in the long twelfth century.
The precedent of empire and the promise of return lay at the heart of King Arthur's appeal in the Middle Ages. Both ideas found fullness of expression in the twelfth century: monarchs and magnates sought to recreate an Arthurian golden age that was as wondrous as the biblical and classical worlds, but less remote. Arthurianism, the practice of invoking and emulating the legendary Arthur of post-Roman Britain, was thus an instance of medieval medievalism.
This book provides a comprehensive history of the first 150 years of Arthurianism, from its beginnings under Henry II of England to a highpoint under Edward I. It contends that the Plantagenet kings of England mockingly ascribed a literal understanding of the myth of King Arthur's return to the Brittonic Celts whilst adopting for themselves a figurative and typological interpretation of the myth. A central figure in this work is Arthur of Brittany (1187-1203), who, for more than a generation, was the focus of Arthurian hopes and their disappointment.

Christopher Michael Berard is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Providence College. He completed his PhD at the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies.

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Keywords: Arthurian Studies,

Table of Contents

Arthurianism during the reign of Henry II, 1154-1189
Arthurianism during the reign of Richard I, 1189-1199
Arthurianism during the reign of King John, 1199-1216
Arthurianism during the reign of Henry III, 1216-1272
Arthurianism during the reign of Edward I, 1272-1307

Author Bio

Dr Berard is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Providence College; having previously graduated from Providence College and Toronto

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