The enduring appeal and rich variety of the Arthurian legend are once again manifest here. Chrétien's Erec et Enide features first in a case study of the poet's endings and medieval theories of poetic composition. Next follows an essay that comes to the rather surprising-but- convincing conclusion that the "traitor" spoken of in the opening lines of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is neither Aeneas nor Antenor, but Paris. Another essay dealing with Sir Gawain, this time in Malory's Morte Darthur, offers among other things an answer to the question of how Gawain knows the exact hour of his death. Few native Irish Arthurian tales have come down to us: a discussion of "The Tale of the Crop-Eared Dog" shows it to be both bizarre and popular, as witnessed by the many manuscripts in which it is preserved. The materiality of the Arthurian legend is represented here by a detailed treatment of the lead cross supposedly found in the grave of King Arthur at Glastonbury Abbey in 1191. Finally, this volume continues Arthurian Literature's tradition of publishing unfamiliar or previously unknown Arthurian texts, in this instance an original Middle English translation of the story of the sword in the stone, from the Old French Merlin.
ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD is Professor of English Studies at Durham University, and Principal of St Cuthbert's Society; DAVID F. JOHNSON is Professor of English at Florida State University, Tallahassee.
Contributors: Lindy Brady, David Carlton, Neil Cartlidge, Nicole Clifton, Oliver Harris, Richard Moll, Rebecca Newby.