The Arthur of the North

The Arthurian Legend in the Norse and Rus' Realms

Editor(s) Marianne E. Kalinke

Language: English

Genre(s): History

Series: Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages

  • March 2011 · 240 pages ·244x172mm

  • · Hardback - 9780708323533
  • · eBook - pdf - 9780708323540
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783164554
  • · Paperback - 9781783167876

About The Book

This book deals with the introduction of romance to Scandinavia in the thirteenth century and the cultural and literary context of the translations of Latin and French Arthurian literature, including the Tristan legend (with a chapter on the Byelorussian Tristan). It surveys the sources, redactions, and manuscript transmission of the translated texts and analyzes the peculiar nature of the Scandinavian Arthurian matter, including its transmission in prose, and the special place that the Swedish poem Harra Ivan has in the corpus. The volume also considers the late medieval and early modern ballads, rimur (narrative Icelandic poems), and chapbooks that were inspired by the medieval translations of the Tristan legend.


The Arthur of the North, superbly edited and with substantial contributions by Marianne E. Kalinke, is a treasure trove of solid, stimulating, and insightful articles on Arthurian romance. In ten chapters, an international team of eight experts on the topic treat not only translations of courtly romances and indigenous narratives composed in the wake of the translations, but also Arthurian influence on other medieval Scandinavian literary works. Much ground, many centuries, and a huge geographical area from Iceland in west to the realm of the Rus' in the east are covered in this fascinating volume, which is a joy to read and a pleasure to learn from.' Kirsten Wolf, Professor and Torger Thompson Chair of Scandinavian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 'This valuable book rescues the Arthurian narratives of medieval Scandinavia from their sometimes marginalized status in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic studies. A team of seven expert and experienced scholars have assembled ten chapters covering all facets of these texts with an admirably up-to-date and well balanced account of both the philological and literary issues, including such underpublicized matters as Arthurian echoes in the Icelandic sagas, the late ballad versions, and the Slavic analogues. The book will serve both as a summation of earlier scholarship and as a platform for future research. It is full and detailed enough to serve scholars and accessible enough to appeal to general readers.' Theodore M. Andersson, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University.


1. The Introduction of the Arthurian Legend in Scandinavia Marianne E. Kalinke 2. Sources, Translations, Redactions, Manuscript Transmission Marianne E. Kalinke 3. Breta sogur and Merlinusspa Stefanie Wurth, University of Tubingen 4. The Tristan Legend Geraldine Barnes, University of Sydney 5. The Arthurian Lais Carolyne Larrington, St. John's College, Oxford 6. The Transmission of Chretien de Troyes's Romances Claudia Bornholdt, The Catholic University of America 7. Harra Ivan William Layher, Washington University, St. Louis 8. Arthurian Echoes in the Icelandic Sagas Marianne E. Kalinke 9. Arthurian Ballads, rimur, Chapbooks, and Folktales Matthew Driscoll, University of Copenhagen

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Marianne E. Kalinke

Professor M.E. Kalinke (retired) was until May 2006 Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies Emerita and Center for Advanced Study Professor of Germanic languages and Comparative Literature Emerita, University of Illinois.

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