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Arthurian Chronicles (MART: The Medieval…
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Arthurian Chronicles (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching) (edition 1996)

by Robert Wace (Author)

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1613130,864 (3.74)1
The spread of the Arthurian legend during the course of the twelfth century is one of the most remarkable phenomena in literary history. Arthurian Chronicles looks at two unsung but deserving poets who contributed to the diffusion of the legend, Wace who preceded the more famous Chretien de Troyes, and Layamon, who followed him. Wace was of an inquiring turn of mind, with, for his day, a scholarly and sceptical approach to lais, marvellous tales, and fables. `Not all lies, nor all true, all foolishness, nor all sense. So much have the story-tellers told, and so much have the makers of fables fabled to embellish their stories, that they have made all seem fable,' he writes. He was the first to mention the famous Round Table. In Layamon's Brut, Arthur, hero and emperor, makes his first appearance in English vernacular literature. It is Layamon who tells of the elves that attended on the infant Arthur and endowed him with gifts and qualities; he also launched Arthur after his last battle to Argante in Avallon, to be healed of his wounds. In this English language prose translation of the Wace and Layamon Arthurian poems, the folk-tale ferocity of Arthur is made as exciting to the readers as to the poets who contributed so much to Arthur's legend. Originally published by J.M. Dent & Sons,1962.… (more)
Member:BWBipps
Title:Arthurian Chronicles (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching)
Authors:Robert Wace (Author)
Info:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (1996), 282 pages
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Arthurian Chronicles by Robert Wace

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A small irritant is the fact that these are not Chronicles, a year by year account, usually concerned with geographical areas, but verse romances. So, the title sucks. The prose style of the translator is not very lively, and his excuse might be that he's gone for accuracy as opposed to liveliness. the collector of Arthuriana should not be without this volume, but very little here has not been covered by other period writers. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Apr 23, 2016 |
Read about half, but having read lots of Arthurian material before it wasn't all that exciting... ( )
  Georges_T._Dodds | Mar 30, 2013 |
Jacket notes, from the introduction by Gwyn Jones: "The three most important Arthurian chroniclers as far as England is concerned were Geoffrey of Monmouth, Wace and Layamon. Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain had proved very popular, and Wace was one of the first to use the matter in verse form in octosyllable couplets.
Layamon followed Wace, but in him we see English verse in the very act of change, making Layamon the first important poet in Middle English. There is a continuous use of alliteration, syllabic strictness, rhyme and assonance. In his pages we meet Arthur for the first time in English, for he transformed Arthurian legend with the Saxon spirit, and divested it of courtly elegance, giving it greater force and simplicity... the legends he composed became a source of inspiration to later generations." ( )
  tripleblessings | Feb 2, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Waceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Layamonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Mason, EugeneTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The spread of the Arthurian legend during the course of the twelfth century is one of the most remarkable phenomena in literary history. Arthurian Chronicles looks at two unsung but deserving poets who contributed to the diffusion of the legend, Wace who preceded the more famous Chretien de Troyes, and Layamon, who followed him. Wace was of an inquiring turn of mind, with, for his day, a scholarly and sceptical approach to lais, marvellous tales, and fables. `Not all lies, nor all true, all foolishness, nor all sense. So much have the story-tellers told, and so much have the makers of fables fabled to embellish their stories, that they have made all seem fable,' he writes. He was the first to mention the famous Round Table. In Layamon's Brut, Arthur, hero and emperor, makes his first appearance in English vernacular literature. It is Layamon who tells of the elves that attended on the infant Arthur and endowed him with gifts and qualities; he also launched Arthur after his last battle to Argante in Avallon, to be healed of his wounds. In this English language prose translation of the Wace and Layamon Arthurian poems, the folk-tale ferocity of Arthur is made as exciting to the readers as to the poets who contributed so much to Arthur's legend. Originally published by J.M. Dent & Sons,1962.

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