The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature
  • Print Publication Date: October 15, 2023
  • eBook Publication Date: September 30, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815975 / 1554815975
  • 500 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature

  • Print Publication Date: October 15, 2023
  • eBook Publication Date: September 30, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815975 / 1554815975
  • 500 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

This teaching anthology collects texts from the vast archive of medieval Arthurian literature. It includes selections from mainstream canonical authors, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Malory, and more peripheral works, such as the Melech Artus (a 12th-century Hebrew text) and the Dutch Morien (featuring a black knight). Characters and authors showcase the diversity of race, religion, gender, and gender orientation of the Arthurian tradition. The anthology and its accompanying website offer a variety of genres, ranging from visual art to historical chronicles and from romance to drama. Arthurian works, while concentrated in England, France, and Wales, are found across medieval Europe, and thus this anthology includes texts from Iceland to Greece.

The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature is ideally suited to teaching: it includes full texts, such as Chrétien de Troyes’ Knight of the Cart, Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale, and the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, for classes that wish to study a whole work in depth; it also includes shorter excerpts of parallel incidents, such as the Uther and Igraine story, so that students can compare a story’s treatment by different authors. Marginal glosses assist students with the Middle English texts, while introductory notes and explanatory footnotes give students necessary background information.


“The superb Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature offers a carefully chosen and wide-ranging selection, including canonical English, French, and German works alongside lesser-known texts in, for instance, Dutch, Greek, Hebrew, and Old Norse, and admirably foregrounding the ways in which translation functions across cultures as well as across languages. Indeed, inclusivity is a hallmark of this wonderful volume, which Cawsey and Edwards have skillfully curated to give invaluable insights into not only the Arthurian legend’s geographical reach and generic variety, but also the diversity of its racial, religious, and sexual identities and attitudes. A fantastic and very welcome new resource for studying medieval Arthuriana.” — Megan Leitch, Cardiff University

The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature is more than simply the ideal Arthurian anthology for 21st century undergraduates studying English literature. Going beyond the canonical Latin, French, and English texts that established the characters and narratives collected in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, BAMAL adds texts from Welsh, Hebrew, Norse, Dutch, German, and Greek, plus a collection of visual images, all of which make it a unique collection. More than any previous anthology, BAMAL shows the diversity and vitality of medieval Arthurian literature.” — Michael W. Twomey, Ithaca College

The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Arthurian Literature is fantastic. Editors Cawsey and Edwards’ selections richly cover the thousand years of medieval Arthurian literature, in all its geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. ‘Must-have’ canonical works by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien, or the Gawain-poet are enriched by texts that speak to contemporary concerns of inclusion, represented by the transgender hero Silence and the Morrish knight Morien. Texts formerly deemed peripheral now provide opportunities for comparison, such as the Jewish morality tale Melech Artus in which the grail becomes a plate for serving the poor or the Greek tale The Old Knight in which the hero fights ageism. Crisp headnotes provide students easy access to the works and helpful suggestions for further research. Translations, often borrowed from Broadview single-author editions, make for clear and compelling reading. Longer works are smartly excerpted, with on-line supplements that fill in the gaps for those who want to read more. The collection replaces all prior anthologies while offering professors of Arthurian literature or Middle English courses many paths to choose through the woods of medieval Arthuriana.” — Karen Cherewatuk, St. Olaf College

Readings listed in green are included on the anthology’s companion website.


List of Images

Timeline of Medieval Arthurian Literature

General Introduction


Early Welsh poetry – Edited and Translated by Sian Echard

  • i. Y Gododdin (The Gododdin)
  • ii. Trioedd Ynys Prydein (The Welsh Triads)
  • iii. Englynion y Beddau (Stanzas of the Graves)
  • iv. Pa gwr yw’r porthor (What Man Is the Gatekeeper?)
  • v. Preiddeu Annwn (The Spoils of Annwn)

Early Latin Texts

  • i. Gildas, De excidio Britanniae (The Ruin of Britain) – translated by Michael Faletra
  • ii. Pseudo-Nennius, Historia Brittonum (The History of the Britons) – translated by Michael Faletra
  • iii. Annales Cambriae (The Annals of the Welsh) – translated by Sian Echard
  • iv. William of Malmesbury, Gesta regum Anglorum (The Deeds of the Kings of the English) – translated by Michael Faletra
  • v. Gerald of Wales – translated by Michael Faletra
    • Descriptio Kambriae (The Description of Wales)
    • De principis instructione liber (The Education of Princes)

Culhwch and Olwen – edited and translated by Sian Echard

Geoffrey of Monmouth – edited and translated by Michael Faletra

  • i. De gestis Britonum (On the Deeds of the Britons)
    • Book Eight
      • Stonehenge and the Crowning of Uther
      • Pendragon
      • Uther and Igerna
      • The Death of Uther
    • Book Nine
      • The Crowning of Arthur
      • Arthur Fights the Saxons
      • Arthur Marries Guinevere
      • Peacetime Pastimes
      • Emperor Lucius
    • Book Ten
      • Arthur’s Dream
      • Giant of Mont St. Michel
      • Various Battles with Rome
      • Mordred’s Betrayal
    • Book Eleven
      • Arthur and Mordred
  • ii. Vita Merlini (The Life of Merlin)

Wace, Roman de Brut (The Romance of Brutus) – edited and translated by Geoff Rector

  • i. 8556–822: Uther and Ygerne; Conception, Disguise, Merlin
  • ii. 9587–804: Arthur’s Court and the Round Table
  • iii. 9905–10104: The Conquest of France and the Defeat of Frollo
  • iv. 10437–954: Arthur’s Coronation to the Arrival of the Roman Ambassadors
  • v. 11173–89: Modret’s Adulterous Desire for the Queen
  • vi. 11239–606: Arthur’s Dream and the Giant of Mont St. Michel
  • vii. 13010–298: Mordred, Guinevere, and the Death of Arthur

Chrétien de Troyes, Le Chevalier de la Charrette (The Knight of the Cart) – edited and translated by Geoff Rector

Marie de France – edited and translated by Claire Waters

  • i. Lanval
  • ii. Chevrefoil (Honeysuckle)

Lai of Melion (The Lay of Melion) – Edited by Kathy Cawsey; translated by Glyn S. Burgess and Leslie C. Brook

Béroul, Tristran and Iseut – edited and translated by Geoff Rector

  • i. The Ambiguous Oath
  • ii. King Arthur’s Court
  • iii. The Malpas

Layamon, Brut – edited and translated by Stephen Yeager

  • i. 9797–981: Uther’s Death and Arthur’s Ascension
  • ii. 10507–706: The Battle of Bath
  • iii. 11345–519: The Invention of the Round Table

Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá (Merlin’s Prophecy) – edited and translated by Matthew Roby

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival – Introduction by Christine Neufeld and Ann Marie Rasmussen; translated by A.S. Kline; edited by Elizabeth Edwards

Lancelot-Graal (The Lancelot-Grail Cycle)

  • i. Lancelot – translated by Samuel N. Rosenberg and Carleton W. Carroll
  • ii. The Quest of the Holy Grail – translated by Judith Shoaf

Heldris of Cornwall, Roman de Silence (The Romance of Silence) – edited and translated by F. Regina Psaki

  • i. Nature vs. Nurture
  • ii. Merlin Sections

Morien – translated by Jessie Weston

Melech Artus (King Artus) – edited and translated by Curt Leviant

The Alliterative Morte Arthure – edited and translated by Elizabeth Edwards

Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” – edited by Robert Boenig and Andrew Taylor

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (parallel text) – edited and translated by James Winny

The Stanzaic Morte Arthur – edited by Kathy Cawsey

  • i. 1−1181: The Maid of Ascolat
  • ii. 1672−2029: The Beginning of the End

Thomas Chestre, Sir Launfal – edited by James Weldon

Hans Rosenplüt, Diu Kron (The Crown) – edited and translated by Ann Marie Rasmussen

The Prose Merlin – edited by Kathy Cawsey

  • i. The Conception of Merlin
  • ii. Uther and Ygerne
  • iii. Nimiane and Merlin
  • iv. Merlin’s Entrapment

The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle – edited by Kathy Cawsey

Hippótēs ho Presbútēs (The Old Knight) – Edited and translated by Thomas Crofts and Dimitra Fimi

Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur – Edited by K.S. Whetter and Fiona Tolhurst

  • 1. Tale I: ‘Fro the Mariage of Kinge Uther unto Kinge Arthure that Regned aftir Him and ded Many Batailes’
    • i. Uther and Igraine
    • ii. The Sword in the Stone
    • iii. Arthur’s Wedding and the Formation of the Round Table
    • iv. The Pentecostal Oath
    • v. Merlin and Nenyve
    • vi. Arthur and Accolon
    • vii. Pelleas and Ettarde
  • 2. Tale V: ‘The Boke of Sir Trystrams de Lyones’
    • i. Palomides
  • 3. Tale VI: ‘The Tale of the Sankgreal’
    • i. Galahad’s Arrival
  • 4. Tale VII: ‘The Tale of Sir Launcelot [and Queen Gwenyvere]’
    • i. Elaine of Ascolat
    • ii. The Knight of the Cart
    • iii. The Healing of Sir Urry
  • 5. Tale VIII:‘The Moste Piteuous Tale of the Morte Arthure saunz Gwerdon’
    • i. Rumours
    • ii. The War with Lancelot
    • iii. Mordred
    • iv. The Death of Arthur
    • v. The Deaths of Guinevere and Lancelot

List of Figures

Index of Authors and Titles

Kathy Cawsey is Professor of English at Dalhousie University. Elizabeth Edwards is Professor of English at the University of King’s College, Halifax.

A companion website will provide additional readings to supplement those in the print book.