Arthurianism in Early Plantagenet England: From Henry II to Edward I (Arthurian Studies, Book 88)

November 1, 2020
Arthurianism in Early Plantagenet England: From Henry II to Edward I (Arthurian Studies, Book 88)

The precedent of empire and the promise of return lay at theheart of King Arthur's appeal in the Middle Ages. Both ideas foundfullness of expression in the twelfth century: monarchs andmagnates sought to recreate an Arthurian golden age that was aswondrous as the biblical and classical worlds, but less remote.Arthurianism, the practice of invoking and emulating the legendaryArthur of post-Roman Britain, was thus an instance of medievalmedievalism.This book provides a comprehensive history of the first 150 yearsof Arthurianism, from its beginnings under Henry II of England to ahighpoint under Edward I. It contends that the Plantagenet kings ofEngland mockingly ascribed a literal understanding of the myth ofKing Arthur's return to the Brittonic Celts whilst adopting forthemselves a figurative and typological interpretation of the myth.A central figure in this work is Arthur of Brittany (1187-1203),who, for more than a generation, was the focus of Arthurian hopesand their disappointment.Christopher Michael Berard is a Visiting Assistant Professor ofEnglish at Providence College. He completed his PhD at theUniversity of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies.Table of ContentsIntroductionArthurianism during the reign of Henry II, 1154-1189Arthurianism during the reign of Richard I, 1189-1199Arthurianism during the reign of King John, 1199-1216Arthurianism during the reign of Henry III, 1216-1272Arthurianism during the reign of Edward I, 1272-1307ConclusionBibliography