The early thirteenth-century French prose Lancelot-Grail Cycle (or Vulgate Cycle) brings together the stories of Arthur with those of the Grail, a conjunction of materials that continues to fascinate the Western imagination today. Representing what is probably the earliest large-scale use of prose for fiction in the West, it also exemplifies the taste for big cyclic compositions that shaped much of European narrative fiction for three centuries. A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle is the first comprehensive volume devoted exclusively to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle and its medieval legacy. The twenty essays in this volume, all by internationally known scholars, locate the work in its social, historical, literary, and manuscript contexts. In addition to addressing critical issues in the five texts that make up the Cycle, the contributors convey to modern readers the appeal that the text must have had for its medieval audiences, and the richness of composition that made it compelling. This volume will become standard reading for scholars, students, and more general readers interested in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, medieval romance, Malory studies, and the Arthurian legends.
Contributors: RICHARD BARBER, EMMANUELE BAUMGARTNER, FANNI BOGDANOW, FRANK BRANDSMA, MATILDA T. BRUCKNER, CAROL J. CHASE, ANNIE COMBES, HELEN COOPER, CAROL R. DOVER, MICHAEL HARNEY, DONALD L. HOFFMAN, DOUGLAS KELLY, ELSPETH KENNEDY, NORRIS J. LACY, ROGER MIDDLETON, HAQUIRA OSAKABE, HANS-HUGO STEINHOFF, ALISON STONES, RICHARD TRACHSLER. CAROL DOVER is associate professor of French and director of undergraduate studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC.