Prose Tristan

Prose Tristan

The Prose Tristan is an adaptation of the Tristan and Iseult story into a long prose romance, and the first to tie the subject entirely into the arc of the Arthurian legend. It was also the first major Arthurian prose cycle commenced after the widely popular Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate Cycle), which influenced especially the later portions of the Prose Tristan.

According to the prologue, the first part of the book (i.e. everything before the Grail material) is attributed to the otherwise unknown Luce de Gat, and were probably begun between 1230 and 1235. The work was expanded and reworked sometime after 1240. In the epilogue, a second author names himself as "Helie de Boron," asserting that he is the nephew of the first author of the Arthurian Grail cycles, poet Robert de Boron. Helie de Boron claims, like the so-called authors of the Roman de la Rose, to have picked up the story where Luce left off. Neither the biographies of the two authors, nor the claim that they had been translating the work from a Latin original are taken seriously by scholars.

Read more about Prose TristanSynopsis, Scholarship

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Prose Tristan - Scholarship
... Before any modern editions of the Prose Tristan were attempted, scholars were dependent on an extended summary and analysis of all the manuscripts by Eilert Löseth in 1890 (republished in 1974) ... Curtis' edition of a simple manuscript (Carpentras 404) covers Tristan's ancestry and the traditional legend up to Tristan's madness ... His edition follows from Curtis', includes Tristan's participation in the Quest for the Holy Grail and ends with Tristan and Iseult's death and the first signs of Arthur's ...

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    Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.
    —H.L. (Henry Lewis)