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The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,604 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
""My lords, if you would hear a high tale of love and of death, here is that of Tristan and Queen Iseult; how to their full joy, but to their sorrow also, they loved each other, and how at last they died of that love together upon one day; she by him and he by her." ""Long ago, when Mark was King over Cornwall, Rivalen, King of Lyonesse, heard that Mark's enemies waged war ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Alan Rodgers Books (first published 1900)
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Megan Anderson
A classic myth, but maybe not the best version.

Tristan and Iseult is a big deal: it’s said to be a major influence for the romance between Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, and pretty much the majority romantic love stories after the 12th century. This myth was passed down verbally and has been committed to text by several different authors. Bédier argues that his version is adapted from the original poem, which may or may not be historically accurate. The style is conversational as if a
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*

Okay, so I did NOT love it... but it was good :)

I LOVE the 2006 film Tristan & Isolde for reasons.... mostly this:

and this:

but also because it has one of the most poignantly beautiful forgiveness scenes I have ever seen. Rufus Sewell (as King Mark) delivers an unforgettable performance. Which is saying something because I am a HUGE James Franco fan (he is the reason I watched the movie) and Rufus Sewell stole that movie from him, hands *snicker* down!!

However, this translation/compilation
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
His parents were wed in a castle standing above the sea called Tintagel "well fenced against all assault or engines of war, (with) its keep, which the giants had built long ago, (a) compact of great stones, like a chess board of vert and azure." He was lost for a long time, his royal origin hidden and unknown, but fate was kind and he was brought back to King Mark, ruler of Cornwall, brother of his deceased mother Blanchefleur (the husband of his late father, Rivalen King of Lyonesse). He served ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Há muito que procurava ler esta obra. Vi o filme e conhecia o romance de ambos, mas queria muito ler a história, uma vez que faz parte das lendas arturianas e tem aquela magia que tanto me agrada. Foi agora que apareceu a oportunidade e só posso dizer que estou muito feliz.

Este livro conta a história de amor de Tristão e Isolda, amor esse predestinado a consumir os seus amantes de modo a que a sua história fosse bela e trágica. Perseguidos pelos seus, Tristão e Isolda lutam contra tudo e contra
Janez Hočevar
Une passion folle ou une folie passionnee, ce roman, bien qu'idealise par le medieviste Joseph Bedier, nous donne une histoire d'amour, qui ne peut pas etre vecue. S'y melent les divers elements des romans chevaleresques, comme fin amor, le feodalisme et tout ce qui le represente....Ce qui m'a plu le mieux, c'etait la force de la passion, le renoncement a cette meme passion qui ne peut finir que par la mort des deux amants. Point de happy end!!
Erika B. (Snogging on Sunday Books)
"King Mark made peace with Tristan. Tristan returned to the castle as of old. Tristan slept in the King's chamber with his peers. He could come or go, the King thought no more of it. But who can long keep his love a secret? Love alas cannot be hid."

Ah love. It has a mind of its own. This was so tragic and bittersweet. I saw the movie with James Franco back in the day, and now I feel cheated because this story is so much more. The story of two lovers at the mercy of fate and the gods that contro
Deborah Stack
Jan 01, 2012 Deborah Stack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: favorites
I adore this story, and I know that the beautiful writing of Joseph Bedier is largely to thank- but I must give credit to the specific reader at librivox who helped me to fall in love with the tale.

I listened to Tristan and Iseult as an audiobook, acquired through Librivox and read by Joy Chan. (Available here:

Joy Chan's soothing voice drew me entirely into the ancient story, and as she adopted a slight affect for each character, rendering each distinct,
Jun 24, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this on Librivox and it was beautifully narrated but very confusing because there were so many characters. This is one action packed story. It's supposed to be this great romance but Tristan and Iseult didn't fall in love, they had a spell cast on them so is that a romance?
dead letter office
Feb 24, 2009 dead letter office rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
a despicable soothsaying dwarf!

passion and joy most sharp, and anguish without end, and death!

evil giants!

a magic, multicolored dog with a little fairy bell!

why anyone writes books without these things is a mystery to me. plus it's all true.
Searched and read the e-book. Why? Tristan and Isolde was one of the most influential romances in the medieval period. Although this story line has been used endlessly later, in many classic romance stories like the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, this is a very good read and the original.

This one, Bedier's translation which was then translated by Hilaire Belloc) is the living piece of mythology. He tells Tristan and Isolde the same way you've probably heard it a thousand times. I b
Sep 03, 2015 Sibilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ak, nekad, nekad nelietojiet apšaubāmas izcelsmes alkoholiskos dzērienus! Var sanākt pamatīgas un vēl ilgi leģendās apdziedātas ziepes, mirt vesels lērums pie tā nevainīgu ļaužu un tiek nogalināts pat viens mazs, mīlīgs kucēns (lai tam izgrieztu mēli).

Bet, neskatoties uz idiotisko saturu, stāsts apbur ar savu senatnīgumu un pierāda, ka populārā literatūra pēdējā gadu tūkstošu laikā nav īpaši manījusies.
Sep 09, 2009 Jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marts  (Thinker)
Classic love tragedy...
Dec 19, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comovente desde as primeiras linhas, é um livro que faz jus a todas as tragédias gregas. Muito amor, muito romance e muito drama, em uma batalha épica pela verdadeira felicidade e pela união de um casal que nem a morte pode separar! Leitura deliciosamente fluida que, como sempre, encerra o enredo tocando o coração dos leitores. Mais do que recomendado: indicado com honras!
علی‌رضا میم
همانند دیگر رمانهای عشق ممنوعه، تریستان و ایزوت نباید عاشق یکدیگر شوند و عشق آنها ممنوعه است،و مثل همه این نوع داستانها صلع سوم مثلث عشقی را در این میان شاه تشکیل میدهد.
تریستان پهلوان کشور است و به دلیل اینکه اژدهایی که در کشور تریستان همین طور ول ول میگردد و مزاحم امنیت مردم است را میکشد شایستگی همسری ایزوت را پیدا میکند.البته در این میان ماجراهای بسیاری در جریان است. فرق عشق تریستان و ایزوت با بقیه داستانهای این سبکی، داشتن تهمایههای پهلوانی در داستان است. و اینکه آن دو هیچ چارهای جز عشق یکدیگ
Kept my attention. Long before Hobbits and Harry Potters there was this. Picture yourself in a hall, with log fire and torch-light, with some fairly evil smells coming from a rush covered floor - the story teller begins ... yes, this tale really works.
Lara Kairos
Jan 16, 2012 Lara Kairos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my most beloved romance books since my childhood. My grandmother had it in her library, and I often pulled it off the shelf when I came to visit her. A fascinating tale of medieval love, passion and strife.
3.5 stars for the effort of combining the existing renditions in one single volume, though the execution and pace could've been much, much better.
Paloma Meir
Jan 24, 2016 Paloma Meir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most of my reading life has been spent searching for a story that will make me feel as I felt when first reading Wuthering Heights. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult didn't succeed (and nothing else has either), but I loved it anyway.

"Apart the lovers could neither live nor die, for it was life and death together..." I feel your pain, Tristan and Iseult. I've read so many retellings of this story, but never the source. Happy to have finally read it.

*** John Updike's Brazil is my favorite reimag
Este é o relato narrativo de uma das lendas arturianas mais conhecidas do mundo, o romance trágico de Tristão e Isolda e é um mito que tem atravessado os tempos e tem atraído a atenção de muitos escritores que imortalizam este romance cada um à sua maneira. Os nomes mais conhecidos que adaptaram este mito foram por exemplo, Gottfried von Straßburg no século XIII (com um romance em prosa), Richard Wagner no século XIX (com uma ópera), Dante e este romance de Joseph Bédier. Este mito chegou inclus ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Ariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story of Tristan and Iseult is a myth as old as time itself, a legend of love and loss. It is tragic, romantic and beautiful. Joseph Bédier’s retelling of this classic tale is arguably the most accurate translation. Tristan, an epic soldier and esteemed guard, falls in love with Iseult, a fair maiden and kind queen. The love is forbidden, the trials are hard, but they are determined to be together, somehow.
When I was a teenager I fully believed the story of Tristan and Iseult to be romantic.
Oct 14, 2012 Bethany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I read this beautifully written, beautifully translated classic... but man I hate Tristan and Iseult. I would probably have given it more stars for its legacy and place in history, but I'm reacting badly to the thousands of "oh how romantic" sighs I hear when I talk about this book. I know my history, I can understand this may have been an epic love story in medieval times of chivalry and honor, but now it just reads like two people finding excuses to justify being total dicks. I'm too ...more
Dec 15, 2014 Dalia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: كلاسيك
تريستان و ايزولد رواية اسطورية من القرون الوسطى ؛ اهميتها الوحيدة ان تم ذكرهم في جحيم دانتي ؛ و علشان كدا قررت اقراها .
في نسخ كتير كتب بتتكلم عن تريستان و ايزولد بس انا برشح النسخة دي علشان الكاتب مؤرخ فرنسي متخصص في تأريخ فترة العصور الوسطى بالاساس .

الكتاب صغير مش كبير حوالي صفحة.

في فيلم بيتكلم عن الحكاية ؛ بس مختلف عنها تماما ؛ الفيلم حاولو يخلو الاحداث اكثر منطقية شوية .
Rebekka Steg
I listened to the annotated audiobook on Craft Lit. This classic folk tale is quite interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know about how many different versions there are, and how it has become a common tale in so many different geographical locations.
Juniper Shore
Dec 19, 2015 Juniper Shore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytales, romance
It's very hard to translate an old story for modern readers, and I'm not just talking about the language. There's a whole different set of sensibilities and assumptions at work. Bédier deserves major credit for managing to tell this 900-year-old story not only accurately, but also poetically. Belloc's translation into English captures the feel of the medieval words without ever sounding forced or artificial.

Modern readers will smack their heads in disgust at some of the idiotic behavior in the b
Jul 11, 2014 Merry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short but very faithful translation of the French classic detailing the romance between Tristan and Isolde (also spelled Iseult). Made popular in the 12th century, the story recounts the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Iseult. They meet when Tristan is sent by his king to bring her to the king for their wedding, but on the way the two inadvertently drink a potion meant for Iseult and the king that will make them fall in love forever. Iseult and the kin ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting classic Romantic story. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult is incredibly sad but also telling of how the ideas of courtly love were perceived in that time period.

I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the stories of that period and how people acted about the different ways to love people. There is the adulterous courtly love, the romantic marital love, and the brotherly and loyal love. Each of these loves are explored in this story, which makes it that much more interesti
Maan Kawas
Jan 25, 2015 Maan Kawas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful but sad tragic medieval tale about a doomed love, which influenced a lot of major works throughout the history of literature, including the Arthurian romances (Lancelot and Guinevere) and Shakespeare’s, It even inspired Wagner’s opera “Tristan und Isolde”. The relationship between the two lovers, which lead to an adulterous and extramarital relationship was the cause of a love potion taken by mistake, therefore, the suffering both lovers experienced was not the one usually associated ...more
Holly the Infinite Book Dragon
For no lovers ever loved so much or paid their love so dear.

This historic legend is supposedly an epic, tragic romantic love story. But is this "true" love, since they drank a magical potion? A MAGICAL POTION! I can see how the Arthurian myth influenced some of Shakespeare's work with the magical creatures, the love potions, the tragic ending.

I saw the 2006 movie years ago, starring James Franco before he completely lost his mind. I barely recall it, however. Either because it has been so long a
Adrian Stumpp
Bedier's version is wonderful. He doesn't do anything overtly daring wtih the story. He tells Tristan and Isolde the same way you've probably heard it a thousand times. I bet he even used Wolfram's text as the original. On a sentence by sentence level, though, this is a breathtaking book with no lack of lines that leave me reeling, heart pounding, and so jealous I can't see straight. An exquisite rendering of a classic medeival romance and most definitely a very good read.
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انتشار 1 9 Nov 28, 2007 11:54PM  
  • Tristan: With the Tristran of Thomas
  • The Romance of Tristan
  • Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart
  • The Lais of Marie de France
  • The Quest of the Holy Grail
  • The Romance of the Rose
  • The Arthurian Encyclopedia
  • Parzival
  • The History of the Kings of Britain
  • The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends
  • Myth Ritual and Religion Volume 1
  • The Death of King Arthur
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 1
  • Carmen and Other Stories
  • Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Esyllte
Bédier was born in Paris, France to Adolphe Bédier, a lawyer of Breton origin, and spent his childhood in Réunion. He was a professor of medieval French literature at the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland (1889–1891) and the Collège de France, Paris (c. 1893).

Modern theories of the fabliaux and the chansons de geste are based on two of Bédier's studies.

Bédier revived interest in several importan
More about Joseph Bédier...

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“Fold your arms round me close and strain me so that our hearts may break and our souls go free at last. Take me to that happy place of which you told me long ago. The fields whence none return, but where great singers sing their songs forever.” 30 likes
“...for most men are unaware that what is in the power of magicians to accomplish, that the heart can also accomplish by dint of love and bravery.” 10 likes
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