The Arthur of the English

The Arthurian Legend in Medieval English Life and Literature

Author(s) W Barron

Language: English

Genre(s): History

Series: Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages

  • July 2011 · 290 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9780708324493
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786837400
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786837417

About The Book

This first comprehensive treatment of Arthurian literature in the English language up until the end of the Middle Ages is now available for the first time in paperback. English people think of Arthur as their own - stamped on the landscape in scores of place-names, echoed in the names of princes even today. Yet some would say the English were the historical Arthur's bitterest enemies and usurpers of his heritage. The process by which Arthurian legends have become an important part of England's cultural heritage is traced in this book. Previous studies have concentrated on the handful of chivalric romances, which have given the impression that Arthur is a hero of romantic escapism. This study seeks to provide a more comprehensive and insightful look at the English Arthurian legends and how they evolved. It focuses primarily upon the literary aspects of Arthurian legend, but it also makes some important political and social observations.


"This survey of English versions of the Arthurian legend provides a compendium of interesting and valuable information about King Arthur in English history and society during the Middle Ages ... well researched and comprehensive with intelligent interpretations of known facts ... It serves as an encyclopedia, a handy guide for student who wants an introductory synopsis of what is known about the legend before delving deeply into Arthurian research. Names, dates, and culture are linked in a straightforward manner. Notes are extensive. A useful reference bibliography includes bibliographies, texts in English and additional studies." -Literature and History Journal 'a compendium of interesting and valuable information...well researched and comprehensive with intelligent interpretations of known facts.' Literature and History 'Given the continuing interest in the Arthurian legend, this reviewer cannot imagine a public or college library without these volumes.' Choice 'Arthur of the English is the second volume to appear in a new and timely series of surveys that aim to bring the literary history of the field up to date. Arthur of the English achieves that aim perfectly...a reliable and well-informed guide.' Notes and Queries


W.R.J. Barron, Introduction; Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, The Celtic Tradition, * W.R.J. Barron, Francoise le Saux, Lesley Johnson, Dynastic Chronicles; * James P. Carley, Interchapter A: Arthur in English History; * Catherine Batt, Rosalind Field, The Romance Tradition; * Karen Hodder, David Burnley, Lesley Johnson, Carole Weinberg, Dynastic Romance; * Maldwyn Mills, Elizabeth Williams, Flora Alexander, Rosamund Allen, W.R.J. Barron, Chivalric Romance; * Juliet Vale, Interchapter B: Arthur in English Society; * Gillian Rogers, Diane Speed, David Griffith, John Withrington, Folk Romance; * P.J.C. Field, Sir Thomas Malory's 'Le Morte Darthur'; Chris Brooks, Inga Bryden, The Arthurian Legacy; * John Thompson, Postscript: Arthurian Literature and its Public.

About the Author(s)

Author(s): W Barron

The editor, W.R.J. Barron, who is also the General Editor of the series, has published widely in the field of mediaeval English literature. He has taught at the University of Manchester and is currently Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Life President of the International Arthurian Society (British Branch).

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