THERE were other twelfth-century poets dealing with Arthurian story, quite as important as Chrétien or Marie. One of them, Bréri, Bledhericus, or Blihis, is dimly known or rather inferred from scattered allusions. The earliest form of the Grail story can perhaps be traced to him; he seems to have had a wide reputation for his knowledge of traditions about British heroes. Bréri is, however, a very hypothetical personage, hardly a name, if that; but there are several poets whose work has survived in fragments sufficiently long to show their quality.
Two of these poets told the famous story of Tristan and Iseult, and their work might compare favorably with that of Chrétien had it not come to us in so mutilated a condition. Each was evidently a man of distinctive temperament and interesting gifts. Both are connected with England; Béroul, the earlier, was almost certainly an Anglo-Norman; Thomas, the finer spirit, whose verse by internal evidence would be assigned to a somewhat later date, was probably so. Both present a far nobler version of the great lovestory than that on which Malory unfortunately leaned. Béroul may, however, be considered to inaugurate the