Taking the legends surrounding King Arthur and weaving in new psychological elements of personal desire and courtly manner, Chretien de Troyes fashioned a new form of medieval Romance. The Knight of the Cart is the first telling of the adulterous relationship between Lancelot and Arthur's Queen Guinevere, and in The Knight with the Lion Yvain neglects his bride in his quest for greater glory. Erec and Enide explores a knight's conflict between love and honour, Cliges exalts the possibility of pure love outside marriage, while the haunting The Story of the Grail chronicles the legendary quest. Rich in symbolism, these evocative tales combine closely observed detail with fantastic adventure to create a compelling world that profoundly influenced Malory, and are the basis of the Arthurian legends we know today.
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Chretien de Troyes wrote in French in the second half of the twelfth century. Very little is known about his life.
William W. Kibler teaches at the University of Texas at AUsin. He as served as president of the North American Branch of the Societe Rencesvals and has published many articles on medieval French literature.
Carleton W. Carroll is Professor of French at Oregon State University. Previous publications include editions and translations of Chretien's Eric et Enide and Le Chevalier au Lion.
Arthurian Romances by Chretien, de Troyes
Chretien, de Troyes
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Penguin Books Ltd
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