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Histories of the Kings of Britain (Classic Reprint)

Histories of the Kings of Britain (Classic Reprint)

136971278
1787.5 руб.
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Описание
Excerpt from Histories of the Kings of Britain

1. The Beginnings of Arthurian Story - Arthurian romance is known to us in its best and purest form through the lays and romances that were produced in France during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is a body of preeminently imaginative literature, and although it reflects the chivalric life of France at the tune in which it was and mystery, of prowess, beauty, love, and enchantment, where valorous heroes achieve impossible adventures, and messengers from fairyland appear easily and naturally on marvellous errands. A brilliant part of our literary heritage from France, it does not, however, like the chansons de geste, the great Carolmgian epics, represent French national legend. It is a composite whole, which embodies Oriental stones, bits of classical myth, and above all Celtic tradition, - those "idle and pleasant tales of Britain," as they were called by a twelfth-century French poet, Jean Bodel, who justly gave to the Arthurian material the designation that has ever since clung to it, "the matter of Britain." In this material the central name, but not the most prominent figure, is that of Arthur, King of Britain, for Arthur himself in the romances is little more than a rot faineant, who remains in the background, while the true glory of adventure belongs to the knights whose proudest boast it is that they are attached to his court. Never could his name have become so potent, if he had not earlier tradition been accredited with more valiant deeds than he accomplishes in romance.

It is not in the romances alone, however, that Arthurian story is recorded, and such light as we have upon Arthur's early fame is shed from literature of a different class.

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