To me, methought, who waited with a crowd,
There came a bark that, blowing forward, bore
King Arthur, like a modern gentleman
Of stateliest port; and all the people cried,
"Arthur is come again: he cannot die."

"Morte d'Arthur" (1842)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Monday, November 28, 2011

Arthurian Heroes and Villains

Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Medieval Romance
Edited by Neil Cartlidge

First Published: 19 Apr 2012
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843843047
Pages: 244
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer
Series: Studies in Medieval Romance
Subject: Medieval Literature
Details updated on 27 Nov 2011

Medieval romances so insistently celebrate the triumphs of heroes and the discomfiture of villains that they discourage recognition of just how morally ambiguous, antisocial or even downright sinister their protagonists can be, and, correspondingly, of just how admirable or impressive their defeated opponents often are. This tension between the heroic and the antiheroic makes a major contribution to the dramatic complexity of medieval romance, but it is not an aspect of the genre that has been frequently discussed up. Focusing on fourteen distinct characters and character-types in medieval narrative, this book attempts to illustrate the range of different ways in which the imaginative power and appeal of romance-texts often depends on contradictions implicit in the very ideal of heroism.

Dr Neil Cartlidge is Lecturer in English at the University of Durham.

Contributors: Neil Cartlidge, Penny Eley, David Ashurst, Meg Lamont, Laura Ashe, Judith Weiss, Gareth Griffith, Kate McClune, Nancy Mason Bradbury, Ad Putter, Robert Rouse, Siobhain Bly Calkin, James Wade, Stephanie Vierick Gibbs Kamath

1 Introduction
2 Turnus
3 Alexander the Great
4 Hengist
5 Harold Godwineson
6 Mordred
7 Merlin
8 Gawain
9 Gamelyn
10 Ralph the Collier
11 The Antiheroic Heart
12 Crusaders
13 Saracens
14 Ungallant Knights
15 Sons of Devils

Friday, November 4, 2011

ICoM 2011

With apologies for cross-posting:

The International Society for the Study of Medievalism recently convened its 26th International Conference on Medievalism at the University of New Mexico under the general theme of Medievalism, Arthuriana, and Landscapes of Enchantment from 21-22 October 2011. Sessions on Arthurian subjects covered material from the early modern era to today and explored the Matter of Britain in drama, musical theater, fiction, and television..

The complete program can be accessed at