Scotland's importance in Arthurian legend is undeniable: it was the traditional homeland of key figures such as Gawain; its landscape is still dotted with Arthurian associations, and many modern attempts to locate a historical Arthur end up in Scotland. Nevertheless, Scotland's complex relationship with Arthurian legend has been surprisingly neglected, and this volume is the first to be dedicated to it. The essays cover the period between the appearance in ca. 1136 of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae and the accession of James VI to the English throne as James I in 1603 - five centuries of precarious Scottish independence during which the relationship of the Scots and the English, as refracted through Arthurian legend, is at its most turbulent and changeable. The approaches are both literary and historical, covering such topics as the direct responses of early Scottish historians to the challenges set by Geoffrey's work, Arthurian literature written in Scots, the circulation of other Arthurian material in Scotland, and the portrayal of Scotland and the Scots in English and French Arthurian texts.
The Scots and Medieval Arthurian Legend