The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend
The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend is both a critical history of the Arthurian tradition and a reference guide to Arthurian works, names, and symbols. It offers a comprehensive survey of the legends in all of their manifestations, from their origins in medieval literature to their adaptation in modern literature, arts, film, and popular culture. Not only does it analyse familiar Arthurian characters and themes, it also demonstrates the tremendous continuity of the legends by examining the ways that they have been reinterpreted over the years. For instance, the motif of the abduction of Guinevere can be traced from Chrétien de Troyes's Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart and the vulgate cycle of French romances in the 13th century, to Malory's retelling of the story in the Morte d'Arthur, through various modern adaptations like those in T. H. White's The Once and Future King and the contemporary film First Knight. This indispensable reference guide contains seven essays that trace the development of the Arthurian legend, encyclopedic entries, bibliographies, and a comprehensive index. The essays explore the chronicle and romance traditions, the influence of Malory, the Grail legend, the figures of Gawain and Merlin, and the story of Tristan and Isolt. The entries, which highlight key Arthurian characters, symbols, and places, offer quick and easy references. The extensive chapter-by-chapter bibliographies, which are subdivided by topic, augment the general bibliography of Arthurian resources. Comprehensive in its analysis and hypertextual in its approach, The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend is an essential reference book for Arthurian scholars, medievalists, and for those interested in cultural studies of myth and legend.