English Literature

Legends of King Arthur and his knights-Source books

  • Celtic myths (such as the Welsh “Raid on Annwfn”)
  • The Mabinogion
  • Legends of the Grail King and the Fisher King
  • Historical documents about the battle at Mons Badis, General Arturius, and other sixth-century subjects some scholars claim are evidence of a historical basis for later legends
  • Welsh/Latin annals attributed to the so-called “Nennius” (i.e., medieval Latin writings mistakenly attributed to this person in outdated scholarship)
  • Oral legends transmitted by Breton conteurs in France between 1100-1175
  • Pseudo-histories written by Geoffrey of Monmouth (circa 1136)
  • French stories of courtly love in medieval romances (such as Tristram and Iseult, or Lancelot and Gwenevere)
  • Religious allegories about the quest for the holy grail, such as the Queste du Sainte-Graal (c. 1210)
  • Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival (c. 1205)
  • Legends of King Mark of Cornwall, Tristan, and Iseult, such as the eleventh-century poems of Eilhart von Oberg and Thomas d’Angleterre, Beroul’s The Romance of Tristan, the anonymous La folie Tristan de Berne, and Gottfried Von Strassburg’s Tristan (c. 1205)
  • Layamon’s Brut (c. 1200)
  • The anonymous Alliterative Morte Arthur and the Stanzaic Morte Arthur (c. 1360)
  • The Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1375)
  • Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” (c. 1385)
  • Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur (1469)
  • Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1590-96)
  • Scott’s Bridal of Triermain (1813)
  • Peacock’s “The Misfortunes of Elphin” (1829)
  • Morris’s The Defense of Guinevere
  • Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (1832)
  • Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1885)
  • Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  • Wagner’s operas
  • E. A. Robinson’s MerlinLancelot, and Tristram (1915-25)
  • T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King
  • Marion Zimmer-Bradley’s feminist/revisionist tales such as The Mists of Avalon
  • A legion of popular films, cartoons, graphic novels, and works of fantasy literature.

List prepared by Dr. L. Kip Wheeler