THIS book has grown from a course in English Literature which I planned for my students at Harvard University and Radcliffe College in the spring of 1900. I thought that there was enough interest in the Arthurian legends to warrant a course of lectures which should give an account of their origin, development, and history in our poetry, to those who, without caring to study mediæval literature extensively, desired some knowledge of its finest poetic theme. Such knowledge it was difficult to obtain, for almost the only book on the subject both accurate and readable was Mr. M. W. MacCallum Tennyson's Idylls and Arthurian Story, and that dealt chiefly with the Arthurian legends from Malory to the present time. My purpose was to tell more fully of the early days of the legends, their origin and growth, and in discussing their later history, to keep more closely to English countries than Mr. MacCallum had done. Of necessity treating much of the material that he had treated, I have been indebted to his work for many valuable suggestions in preparing both my lectures and my book, though in general my methods of approaching the subject have been different from his.
Because my lectures as first given, and as repeated