The Arthur of the Low Countries

The Arthurian Legend in Dutch and Flemish Literature

Editor(s): Bart Besamusca Frank Brandsma

Language: English

Genre(s): Medieval

Series: Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages

  • January 2021 · 256pages · 244x172mm

  • ·Hardback - 9781786836823
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786836847
  • · eBook - mobi - 9781786836854
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786836830

About The Book

In the medieval Low Countries (modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands), Arthurian romance flourished in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The Middle Dutch poets translated French material (like Chrétien’s Conte du Graal and the Prose Lancelot), but also created romances of their own, like Walewein. This book provides a current overview of the Dutch Arthurian material and the research that it has provoked. Geographically, the region is a crossroads between the French and Germanic spheres of influence, and the movement of texts and manuscripts (west to east) reflects its position, as revealed by chapters on the historical context, the French material and the Germanic Arthuriana of the Rhinelands. Three chapters on the translations of French verse texts, the translations of French prose texts, and on the indigenous romances form the core of the book, augmented by chapters on the manuscripts, on Arthur in the chronicles, and on the post-medieval Arthurian material..

Endorsements

‘This ground-breaking volume offers not only a very clear and complete status quaestionis of the study of medieval Dutch Arthurian literature, but also puts forward new perspectives on many research questions … to open up the scholarly discussions of the past and make future discussions more fructuous.’
-Professor Remco Sleiderink, University of Antwerp
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‘This long-awaited volume is a valuable contribution to Arthurian scholarship at large and the first major book-length study of this vital corpus, providing critical insight into the cross-connections with Arthurian literature in French and German and beyond.’
-Professor Sif Rikhardsdottir, University of Iceland

‘An accessible and comprehensive introduction to the enormous richness of Middle Dutch and Flemish Arthurian literature … it invites us into a world both familiar and strange, with familiar adventures and unique, idiosyncratic romances that offer new inflections to our understanding of European Arthurian literature. An indispensable addition to every medieval literary scholar’s library.’
-Professor Carolyne Larrington, University of Oxford
‘Besamusca and Brandsma, distinguished scholars of medieval Arthurian literature in Dutch, Flemish, and other literatures, have assembled a first-rate team to produce this, the first book-length study of Arthuriana in the Low Countries. The volume is admirable for its scholarly rigor, but is clear and inviting to students and general Arthurian enthusiasts. Highly recommended.’
-Norris J. Lacy, Honorary President of the International Arthurian Society
‘In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Low Countries witnessed an impressive flourishing of Arthurian romances in Dutch, some of them translated or adapted from the French, some of them indigenous, but in either case consistently creative and with a peculiar slant. This book offers a comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of more than forty years of vivid and innovative Arthurian scholarship in the field of Dutch literary studies.’
-Emeritus Professor Frank Willaert, University of Antwerp

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
The Contributors
Abbreviations
Guidelines for the Reader
Introduction – Bart Besamusca and Frank Brandsma
1 The Cultural and Historical Context of the Low Countries -Bram Caers and Mike Kestemont
2 French Arthurian Literature in the Low Countries – Keith Busby and Martine Meuwese
3 The Manuscripts – Bart Besamusca
4 King Arthur in the Historiography of the Low Countries – Thea Summerfield
5 Translations and Adaptations of French Verse Romances: Tristant, Wrake van Ragisel, Ferguut, Perchevael, Torec – Marjolein Hogenbirk and David F. Johnson
6 Indigenous Arthurian Romances: Walewein, Moriaen, Ridder metter mouwen, Walewein ende Keye, Lanceloet en het hert met de witte voet – Simon Smith and Roel Zemel
7 Translations and Adaptations of French Prose Romances, Including the Lancelot Compilation – Frank Brandsma
8 Arthurian Literature of the Rhineland – Jürgen Wolf
9 The Arthurian Legacy – Geert van Iersel
General Bibliography
Index of Manuscripts
General Index

About the Editor(s)

Bart Besamusca

Bart Besamusca is Professor of Middle Dutch Textual Culture from an International Perspective in the Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies at Utrecht University.

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Frank Brandsma

Frank Brandsma is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature (Middle Ages) in the Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies at Utrecht University.

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