Layamon's Brut

October 1989
252 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9780859912822
Format: Hardback

Layamon's Brut

The Poem and its Sources

Francoise H. M. Le Saux

A comprehensive and objective study of Layamon's sources is long overdue. As a first step Françoise le Saux investigates the English poet's handling of his main source, Wace's Roman de Brut, to determine what principles guided the composition of the English Brut. These established, she is able to distinguish between different sorts of variation from the Roman, thereby providing norms against which to gauge the probability of further, secondary sources. Additional sources are then identified, in the various fields suggested by the poem: historical; literary; and religious writings (or tales) in Welsh, English, Latin and French and perhaps even Scandinavian.


An important study that adds greatly to our understanding and appreciation of Layamon's Brut, and is essential reading for anyone planning work on the Brut... All should appreciate the care she has taken with her subject, her thorough coverage of previous scholarship, and the careful scrutiny under which she has placed it. ANGLIA
`By far the fullest investigation of Layamon's sources ever undertaken..should become a standard reference not only for Layamon scholars but for all interested in English Arthurian origins.' THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
`Her particular virtue is to take the whole poem seriously on its own terms as a national epic of the dispossessed English. In so doing, she goes far to establish its structural coherence.' MEDIUM ÆVUM 1991 LX. i. (1991)
`entrancing subtle demonstration that he probably knew Welsh material partly in translation' P.J.C. Field REV ENGLISH STUDIES 42, 168; 11/91

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