GENERAL EDITOR'S FOREWORD

Following upon the special issue devoted to the Roman van Walewein, this volume of Arthurian Literature initiates an alternation of miscellanies with theme issues. Varied in their linguistic and chronological coverage, the articles presented in volume XVIII deal with major areas of Arthurian studies, from early French romance through late medieval English chronicle to contemporary fiction. The text of Beroul's Tristan is one of the enduring enigmas of Old French literature: fragmentary and corrupted in transmission but magnificent. Building on more strictly philological work, the late Richard Illingworth's in-depth look at its composition casts new light on the relationship between `Beroul' and his source. Refusing to reopen the debate about single or multiple authorship, Illingworth suggests that it is more fruitful to regard the text as characterized by a process of gradual accretion up to and including the modifications made by the final redactor. The eponymous hero of the little-known Tristan de Nanteuil bears the first name of an Arthurian knight while being primarily a descendant of a celebrated epic lineage. Jane Taylor's essay on this long and complex text explores one aspect of the intertextuality of late medieval French narrative, proposing that we regard the Arthuricity of Tristan de Nanteuil as an attempt to breathe new life into the chanson de geste. Carleton Carroll and Maria Colombo Timelli present the text of an extrait of Chrétien's Erec et Enide prepared by the eighteenth-century scholar La Curne de Sainte-Palaye, indicating the medieval manuscripts to which he had access and explaining his working methods. Sainte-Palaye was one of the most important medievalists working in France before the rise of professional medieval studies in the second half of the nineteenth century and texts such as this extrait are crucial to our understanding of the Enlightenment as well as the history of Chrétien scholarship. Looking at fifteenth- century miscellanies and manuscripts of the Middle English prose Brut, Raluca Radulescu argues that Le Morte Darthur is Malory's response to an increasing political awareness on the part of his intended readership in the English gentry, reconciling the literature of romance with the need to articulate historical and political notions. The texts of the Anglo-Norman Brut studied by Julia Marvin are among the source-material for the the English version considered by Radulescu. Marvin's careful comparison between the Short and Long versions of this fourteenth-century text takes the story of Albine and Isabelle as paradigmatic and shows how the Brut `becomes an arena for active historical argument', manipulating both the ancient and

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