Legends of the Middle Ages - Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art
by H A Guerber (9781406729122)

Legends of the Middle Ages - Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art
H A Guerber
Release Date: 01 March 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
Category: Literature & Literary Studies
ISBN: 9781406729122
ISBN-10: 1406729124

LEGENDS OF THE MIDDLE AGES NARRATED WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LITERATURE AND ART BY H. A GUERBER AUTHOR OP MYTHS OP GRKBCK AND ROMS, MYTHS OP NORTKXKM LANDS, CONTSS KT Saddle tkt Hi ogrijfs, yt Musts Hint, And straight w ll ride to the land of old Romance WIKLAND AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY NEW YORK CINCINNATI CHICAGO Copyright, i8q6, by AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY. LEGENDS OF THE MIOULK AGBfe. 15 P it CORONATION OK CNARI. KMAONB.-1 vy DEDICATED TO MY SISTER, AJJ LE E. GUERBER, Men lylcyn jestis for to here, And romans rede in. diners manere Of Brute that t aron bold, of hond, The first con qnero xre of Englond Of Icyngf - Artour that was so riohe, Was non. in. his tyme him liche. H o v Icyng 1 Oharlis and Rowloncl With sarasyns nold they oe oa- vg ht Of Tristretrx and pf Ysotide tho swete, tney vsrith love first gran metre Stories of ditieroe Of pryncis, prelatis, and of tfaxny song-gis of diners ryxxie, As english, firensh, and latyne. PREFACE. r I HE object of this work is to familiarize young students with JL the legends which form the staple of mediaeval literature. While they may owe more than is apparent at first sight to the classical writings of the palmy days of Greece and Rome, these legends are very characteristic of the people who told them, and they are the best exponents of the customs, manners, and beliefs of the time to which they belong. They have been repeated in poetry and prose with endless variations, and some of our greatest modern writers have deemed them worthy of a new dress, as is seen in Tennysons Idyls of the King, Goethes Reineke Fuchs, TegneVs Frithiof Saga, Wielands Oberon, Morriss Story of Sigurd, and many shorter works by these and less noted writers. Thesemediaeval legends form a sort of literary quarry, from which, consciously or unconsciously, each writer takes some stones wherewith to build his own edifice. Many allusions in the literature of our own day lose much of their force simply because these legends are not available to the general reader. It is the aim of this volume to bring them within reach of all, and to condense them so that they may readily be understood. Of course in so limited a space only an outline of each legend can be given, with a few short quotations from ancient and modern writings to illustrate the style of the poem in which they are em bodied, or to lend additional force to some point in the story. This book is, therefore, not a manual of mediaeval literature, 5 6 PREFACE. or a series of critical essays, but rather a synopsis of some of the epics and romances which formed the main part of the cul ture of those days. Very little prominence has been given to the obscure early versions, all disquisitions have been carefully avoided, and explanations have been given only where they seemed essential. The wealth and variety of imagination displayed in these leg ends will, I hope, prove that the epoch to which they belong has been greatly maligned by the term dark ages, often applied to it. Such was the favor which the legendary style of composition enjoyed with our ancestors that several of the poems analyzed in this volume were among the first books printed for general circulation in Europe. Previous to the invention of printing, however, they were famil iar to rich and poor, thanks to the scalds, bards, trouvfcres, trou badours, minstrels, and minnesingers, who, like the rhapsodists of Greece, spent their livesin wandering from place to place, relating or reciting these tales to all they met in castle, cottage, and inn. A chapter on the Romance literature of the period in the differ ent countries of Europe, and a complete index, will, it is hoped, fit this volume for handy reference in schools and libraries, where the author trusts it may soon find its own place and win a warm welcome. CONTENTS. EOWULF II. GUDRUN III. REYNARD THE Fox IV. THE NlBELUNGENHED V. LANGOBARDIAN CYCLE OF MYTHS 1 86 VI. THE AMBLINGS VII. DIETRICH VON BERN CHARLEMAGNE AND HIS PALADINS IX...

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