The Character of King Arthur in Medieval Literature

The Character of King Arthur in Medieval Literature

Rosemary Morris

Hardback
$99.00

D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

Dr Morris examines how the legend grew through the retelling of what medieval writers believed was the story of an historical figure, based not on some lost Welsh biography, but on Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, the `authorised' version of Arthur's career. She looks at his antecedents, the story of his conception and birth, and his accession, moving on to discuss his warfare, his role in peacetime, his relationships with his family, his personal attributes, and his problematical death, showing how Arthur remains a distinct character in medieval literature despite appearing in an infinite variety of guises. Arthur appears in medieval literature in an infinite variety of different guises, yet remains a distinct character. Medieval writers, however freely they treat their sources, respected the traditions of the past, and Dr Morris, in writing the 'biography' of Arthur, is concerned to show the complex intelinking of different versions of his story. Her approach is through the sequence of events which make up Arthur's career. She looks in turn at his antecedents, the story of his conception and birth, and his accession, the initial 'facts' and the discusses his warfare, his role in peacetime, his relationships with his family, and his personal attributes. The problems surrounding Arthur's death are examined in the final chapter. Throughout the book, Dr Morris is concerned to 'use Arthur tro find out about the sources rather than vice versa' and in so doing illustrates both how medieval writers retold what they believe to be the story of a real historical figure and how the familiar story of Arthur gradually took shape over the centuries, based not on some lost Welsh biography, but on Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain the 'authorised' version of Arthur's career for almost all medieval writers

Details

July 1985
183 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9780859910880
Format: Hardback
D.S.Brewer
BIC DSBB
BISAC LCO003000
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