Arthurian Literature XXXII

Arthurian Literature XXXII

ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD
DAVID F. JOHNSON
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 218
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt18gzf3g
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    Arthurian Literature XXXII
    Book Description:

    The essays collected here put considerable emphasis on Arthurian narratives in material culture and historical context, as well as on purely literary analysis, a reminder of the enormous range of interests in Arthurian narratives in the Middle Ages, in a number of different contexts. The volume opens with a study of torture in texts from Chrétien to Malory, and on English law and attitudes in particular. Several contributors discuss the undeservedly neglected Stanzaic Morte Arthur, a key source for Malory. His Morte Darthur is the focus of several essays, respectively on the sources of the "Tale of Sir Gareth"; battle scenes and the importance of chivalric kingship; Cicero's De amicitia and the mixed blessings and dangers of fellowship; and comparison of concluding formulae in the Winchester Manuscript and Caxton's edition. Seven tantalizing fragments of needlework, all depicting Tristan, are discussed in terms of the heraldic devices they include. The volume ends with an update on newly discovered manuscripts of Geoffrey of Monmouth's seminal Historia regum Britanniae, the twelfth-century best-seller which launched Arthur's literary career.BR> Elizabeth Archibald is Professor of English Studies at Durham University, and Principal of St Cuthbert's Society; David F. Johnson is Professor of English at Florida State University, Tallahassee. Contibutors: David Eugene Clark, Marco Nievergelt, Ralph Norris, Sarah Randles, Lisa Robeson, Richard Sévère, Jaakko Tahkokallio, Larissa Tracy

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-664-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. GENERAL EDITORS’ FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Elizabeth Archibald and David F. Johnson

    This volume ofArthurian Literatureputs considerable emphasis on Arthurian narratives in material culture and historical context, as well as on purely literary analysis. It begins with Larissa Tracy’s wide-ranging study of torture in relation to texts from Chrétien to Malory, by way of the StanzaicMorte ArthurandArthur and Gorlagon. She argues, with a wealth of fascinating evidence, that the inclusion or omission of torture in English texts reflects particular attitudes to the use of torture in English law and society, which related to a sense of national identity. The StanzaicMortehas been undeservedly neglected: Marco Nievergelt’s...

  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. I WOUNDED BODIES: KINGSHIP, NATIONAL IDENTITY AND ILLEGITIMATE TORTURE IN THE ENGLISH ARTHURIAN TRADITION
    (pp. 1-30)
    Larissa Tracy

    One of the most pervasive modern assumptions about the Middle Ages is that there was a proliferation of interrogatory torture carried out in secret, deep in dark dungeons stocked with cruel instruments. Barbara W. Tuchman and Johan Huizinga were instrumental in constructing a narrative of medieval brutality that persists in the modern imagination.² The idea of torture and brutality being synonymous with the term ‘medieval’ is a prominent myth echoed in modern media and popular culture.³ But there is ample evidence that torture as medieval society understood it – the infliction of pain in a legal interrogation as means of...

  7. II THE PLACE OF EMOTION: SPACE, SILENCE AND INTERIORITY IN THE STANZAIC MORTE ARTHUR
    (pp. 31-58)
    Marco Nievergelt

    The StanzaicMorte Arthur(hereafterSMA) has always had a rather mixed press, and scholars have by turns emphasised its clumsiness and its artistic success.² Writing in 1978, Sherron E. Knopp speaks of ‘glaring disagreement over the poem’s strengths and weaknesses’, observing how ‘faults in the eyes of one critic become merits in the eyes of another, andvice versa’. Knopp concludes that ‘in the end one begins to wonder whether everyone has read the same poem’.³ Despite the publication of a number of perceptive studies in the meantime, this is still an essentially accurate picture of the poem’s reputation...

  8. III ANOTHER SOURCE FOR MALORY’S ‘TALE OF SIR GARETH’
    (pp. 59-74)
    Ralph Norris

    The work of many scholars over the course of more than a century has uncovered the major sources for almost the whole of Sir Thomas Malory’sMorte Darthur.¹ It has also revealed the cumulative importance of Malory’s use of minor sources, which adds an unusual wealth of detail to Malory’s story.² Understanding how Malory combined major and minor sources clarifies the creative method of a significant medieval author, which is why academic criticism of theMorte Darthurroutinely takes Malory’s sources into account.³

    The only section for which no major source survives is ‘The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney’,...

  9. IV ‘WARRE AND WORSHYPPE’: DEPICTIONS OF BATTLE IN MALORY’S LE MORTE DARTHUR
    (pp. 75-104)
    Lisa Robeson

    Critical analyses of battle scenes inLe Morte Darthurfocus on Malory’s treatment of warfare as chivalric combat. Helen Cooper concludes, for example, that Malory’s battle scenes constitute ‘a test of prowess, named knight against named knight’ to confer ‘renown’; Kevin Whetter writes that ‘Malory […] presents combat, whether on a great or small scale, as an opportunity to win worship.’¹ Certainly, battles inLe Morte Darthurare opportunities for knights to win chivalric renown, as they were in real life; Richard Kaeuper designates prowess as the essential element of chivalry, and of course warfare offered the greatest opportunity to...

  10. V MALORY’S ‘CHIVALRIC CLIQUES’: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FELYSHYP IN THE ARTHURIAN COMMUNITY
    (pp. 105-122)
    Richard Sévère

    Elizabeth Archibald’s look at the use of the termfelyshypin Malory’sLe Morte Darthuris a promising starting point for discussing the ways in which private and public friendships affect the chivalric community. Archibald’s assertion that ‘there is not only the public and communal felyshyp of the Round Table, but also private and individual felyshyp, based on camaraderie and admiration’¹ best captures the variety of relationships found among Round Table Knights. However, it is Corinne Saunders’s recent claim, that in Malory’sMorte‘individual friendships relate closely to, but also threaten, the politics of fellowship’, that warrants further critical investigation.²...

  11. VI SCRIBAL MODIFICATIONS TO CONCLUDING FORMULAE IN THE WINCHESTER MANUSCRIPT
    (pp. 123-154)
    David Eugene Clark

    In his new edition ofthe Morte Darthur, P. J. C. Field calls the Winchester Manuscript² ‘the most important single piece of evidence for what Malory intended to write’ about King Arthur and his knights.³ The manuscript has served as the base text for all major editions of theMorteexcept that of James Spisak since Eugène Vinaver’s 1947 edition,⁴ and one of the most important ways in which the Winchester Manuscript diverges from the Caxton incunable is by subdividing the narrative differently.⁵ Where Caxton’s edition subdivides into 507 chapters and twenty-one books, the Winchester Manuscript includes five closing passages...

  12. VII HERALDIC IMAGERY IN THE EMBROIDERED TRISTAN NARRATIVES
    (pp. 155-186)
    Sarah Randles

    There are seven extant embroidered versions of the Tristan narrative dating from the medieval and early modern periods, the remains of what was probably once a much larger body of this kind of work. Each of these embroideries depicts a distinctive and individual version of the Tristan story. Of the seven, six date from the fourteenth century, while the seventh carries the date 1539. Four of the medieval embroideries are German, one is either German or Scandinavian and the sixth is Italian.² The sixteenth-century Tristan embroidery is also German, possibly from Alsace. Each of these embroideries depicts heraldry in one...

  13. VIII UPDATE TO THE LIST OF MANUSCRIPTS OF GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH’S HISTORIA REGUM BRITANNIAE
    (pp. 187-204)
    Jaakko Tahkokallio

    Since the publication of Julia Crick’sSummary Catalogueand her latest update in this journal, several new manuscripts of Geoffrey of Monmouth’sHistoria regum Britanniae(HRB) have been located.¹ Michael Reeve uncovered two copies in the course of his editorial work on Vegetius’sEpitoma rei militarisand reported them in his edition of Geoffrey’sHRB.² These are Schaffhausen, Stadtbibliothek, Min. 74, and Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek 3518 (Haenel 8). During my doctoral research, completed in 2013, I located three further manuscripts (Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Pal. lat. 946; Rome, Biblioteca Corsiniana e Accademia dei Lincei, MS 1775; Montpellier, Bibliothèque...

  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 205-209)