German Romance III: Iwein, or The Knight with the Lion
Iwein, or The Knight with the Lion, is a free Middle High German adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes' Old French Arthurian romance, Yvain. Written c.1200 by a Swabian knight, Hartmann von Aue, Iwein charts the development towards maturity of a young knight who falls into error, neglecting his hard-won wife by devoting himself excessively to chivalric pursuits. This parallel-text edition, offering the first English translation, is based on one of the two earliest complete manuscripts, Giessen, University Library, no. 97 (Iwein B), dating from the second quarter of the thirteenth century. It contains a large number of lines, particularly in the later stages of the poem, which are not present in the other early manuscript, A (Heidelberg, cpg 397). These show a special interest in the woman's side of the story, expanding a passage concerned with embroidery and weaving, and adding a marriage for the maidservant Lunet, whose cunning brings about the reconciliation between Iwein and her mistress, Laudine. The authorship of these passages is uncertain, but they may be Hartmann's own revision of his text. The volume is completed with an introduction, notes and bibliography. Dr CYRIL EDWARDS is Senior Research Fellow of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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