The Arthurian Legend in the Literatures of the Spanish Peninsula

By William J. Entwistle | Go to book overview

THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND

I
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

THE history of the Arthurian novels within the Iberian Peninsula is one of attractive simplicity. They form a literature of restricted types and homogeneous expression, which arose at an era that is known or can be ascertained, and derive from one general current of inspiration. The limits of discussion are definite and recognisable, and the topics of controversy are not historically remote; for the range of debate is limited to such concrete matters as the time and manner of their introduction, their classes and pedigree, their influence and general direction, and any special circumstances of their appeal to Peninsular taste. Such matters can be decided by the ordinary procedure and evidence of textual or historical criticism; they allow small scope for dubiety or conjecture. We are not faced in Spain by any question as to the origins of the various cycles, nor do we receive any opportunities for studying their growth and development. We can at once proceed to assume the existence of the French prose Arthurian literature of the early thirteenth century, which is expanded and amplified to some extent by our Spanish texts, as the universal basis of our

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