THE INTRODUCTION OF ARTHURIAN ROMANCE INTO CASTILE AND PORTUGAL.
Our knowledge, perhaps, does not entitle us to bring the whole body of Arthurian literature in Spain and Portugal within the scope of a single theory. To do so we would require to obtain from the texts all the particulars of their origin, authorship and history; and the texts are far from committing their secrets to the first searcher. Some facts we shall obtain, and by working from them through hints and analogies we may reach probable conclusions over the whole field.
It is particularly instructive in this sense to consider the fortunes of the Historia Regum Britonum of Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Iberian Peninsula. He enjoys an absolute priority over the prose novels, which follow him in France at two removes, being separated from him by a mass of Arthurian verse; and he enjoys a relative priority in Spain, both because the language in which he writes (Latin) entitles him to an earlier hearing than would French, and because his standing as a historian is one that would more promptly attract notice than if he had given himself out to be a mere novelist. Thus the first use of his work, as we hope to prove, in Castile is contemporary with the composition of the prose cycles in France. Now it happens