Composed in Old French between about 1220 and 1240, the Lancelot-Grail Cycle is a group of five prose romances centered on the love affair between Lancelot and Guenevere. It consists of an immense central core, the Lancelot Proper, introduced by The History of the Holy Grail and The Story of Merlin and concluded by The Quest for the Holy Grail and The Death of Arthur.
This volume brings together thirteen essays by noted scholars from the first symposium ever devoted exclusively to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. Exploring the cycle's evolution across the literatures of medieval France, Italy, Spain, Catalonia, and England, the authors take a variety of approaches that highlight a broad range of cultural, social, historical, and political concerns and offer a comparative and interdisciplinary vision of this great romance.
Introduction. The Lancelot-Grail Cycle: Text and Transformations (William W. Kibler) 1. From Lancelot to Galahad: The Stakes of Filiation (Emmanuèle Baumgartner) 2. Variations in the Patterns of Interlace in the Lancelot-Grail (Elspeth Kennedy) 3. Age and the Ages of Life in the Prose Lancelot (Douglas Kelly) 4. The Narration of Youthful Exploits in the Prose Lancelot (François Suard) 5. The Mort Artu and Cyclic Closure (Norris J. Lacy) 6. Autobiography and History in the Vulgate Estoire and in the Prose Merlin (Rupert T. Pickens) 7. “Or dist li contes”: Narrative Interventions and the Implied Audience in the Estoire del Saint Graal (Carol Chase) 8. Cité or Vile? A Lexical Problem in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle (Carleton W. Carroll) 9. Ladies Don’t Wear Braies: Underwear and Outerwear in the French Prose Lancelot (E. Jane Burns) 10. The Acclimatization of the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in Spain and Portugal (Harvey L. Sharrer) 11. An Italian Reaction to the French Prose Lancelot-Grail Cycle: Matteo Maria Boiardo and the Knight’s Quest for Identity (Elizabeth H. D. Mazzocco) 12. The Idea of a Cycle: Malory, the Lancelot-Grail, and the Prose Tristan (James I. Wimsatt) 13. Lancelot’s Vocation: Traitor Saint (E. Kay Harris) Index
William W. Kibler is the Superior Oil-Linward Shivers Centennial Professor of Medieval Studies and a professor of French at the University of Texas at Austin.
"The Lancelot-Grail Cycle is a seminal work in the development of the European medieval literatures right down to the Renaissance. For this reason, this volume will be compulsory reading for a wide audience interested in medieval matters, history, linguistics and belles lettres, and literary criticism."
—Carol R. Dover, assistant professor of French, Georgetown University