Lancelot and the Grail offers a new solution to a fascinating problem: how the tale of Lancelot's love for Guinevere came to be linked with the Grail. The first part of this book establishes the existence and coherence of a version of the French Prose Lancelot in which his love is presented as a source of his chivalric achievement. This romance contains no Grail Quest, but only allusions to one already achieved by Perceval. The second part studies the transformation of this 'Lancelot without the Grail' into an integral part of a Lancelot - Grail cycle, where the destructive element in Lancelot's relationship with Guinevere is recognized. Based on many years' work on the textual tradition of a romance copied and read over three centuries, Lancelot and the Grail raises questions of interest to all students of early European literature: the interplay between feudal relationships and literary structures, intertextuality, and the development of a text through time.
Publisher: Oxford University Press