Three Early English Metrical Romances: With an Introduction and Glossary

By John Robson; Robson | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION.

THE ancient minstrels, as a body, were editors and publishers, rather than original composers. They had to perform duties which, in these days, are divided amongst various caterers for the public in matters of taste. The office of minstrel was neither that of poet, editor, actor, nor musician, but a compound of all. To him it was indifferent where, or how, he acquired the tales, which it was his business to enact or recite, and upon which his popularity and living depended; generally speaking, we may imagine that it was a safer game to repeat well-known and popular stories, than to try a doubtful hazard with something new, or original. At the same time, it would be most desirable to give to the old tales an air of novelty, by introducing appropriate variations, and that he should, as far as possible, accommodate to his hearers, what had, perhaps, been composed for their fathers or grandfathers. We may see how this has been done in the two ballads of Chevy Chace;--and through how many phases must the tale of Amys and

-vii-

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Three Early English Metrical Romances: With an Introduction and Glossary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Council Of The Camden Society, For the Year 1841-2. v
  • Introduction. vii
  • Description of the Manuscript. xxxvii
  • The Anturs of Arther at the Tarnewathelan. 1
  • Sir Amadace. 27
  • The Avowynge of King Arther, Sir Gawan, Sir Kaye, and Sir Bawdewyn of Bretan. 57
  • Notes. 94
  • Glossary. 111
  • Corrigenda, &c. 131
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