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The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  4,971 ratings  ·  220 reviews
A tale of chivalry and doomed, transcendent love, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult is one of the most resonant works of Western literature, as well as the basis for our enduring idea of romance. The story of the Cornish knight and the Irish princess who meet by deception, fall in love by magic, and pursue that love in defiance of heavenly and earthly law has inspired arti ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published May 31st 1994 by Vintage (first published 1900)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Deborah Stack
Jan 01, 2012 Deborah Stack rated it 5 of 5 stars
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,
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Vladana Perlić
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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
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.
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
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.
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
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 .
Mar ★
This was a pleasant surprise.
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
Maan Kawas
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
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.
Leer Tristán e Isolda me demostró que realmente todo se ha inventado, incluso antes de que nosotros mismos tomáramos conciencia de ello. Es increíble cómo a través de la Literatura los temas se van repitiendo constantemente, moldeándose en cuanto a convenciones y ambientes pero nunca reformando las emociones. Porque todos los seres humanos, independientes de la época, amamos y sufrimos en iguales escalas.

Probablemente esta edición no sea la mejor, no soy quien para asegurarlo y por ello prefier
I was only very mildly interested in this book throughout. It is written and translated from such old language and verbage that makes it uncomfortable to read and to connect with. It also cannot make up its mind if it is a romance or a tragedy - the correct formula for a tragic romance is lost within the first couple of chapters. It is also, at best, very, very fanciful and highly unbelievable. It may be a better read to a younger and/or a more naive person.
Pam (E.P. Scott)
Well, for a historical romance (the first one I have ever read), it was good. Quite enjoyable actually. Tristan and Iseut are thrown every curve ball, but they are resolute, find a way amidst treachery, cruelty, jealousy. They are truly star-crossed lovers. But, in the end, it is not meant to be and they are betrayed. But even in the moment of death, love doesn't falter for these two. I admit, I flicked a tear off my cheek as I read their final moments.
struggle with life
Kate Lawrence
After several hundred years, this classic tale is still riveting! I imagined it recited in a drafty hall lit by candlelight on a winter's night. This forbidden love elicits the listener's sympathy more than it otherwise would because the lovers do not pursue their passion of their own free will. They have drunk a powerful love potion by mistake, and are thus bound by a spell that they cannot break. Time after time their affair is almost revealed, but then something happens that allows them to co ...more
I enjoyed this passionate story, and the straight forward, no nonsense style of writing was refreshing (a modern author would have taken five books to write this story). The two things that bugged me were 1) I always hate stories where being unfaithful is justified because it's "true love" and 2) their love was the result of a potion and not really "true love" anyway.
I've read a whoooole lot of Arthurian stuff, due to a course dedicated to Arthur alongside a handful of medieval lit courses, and obviously the Tristan & Iseult story is pretty familiar already, meaning there were no surprises in this book. Because it really is a definitive Tristan & Iseult narrative, so I've read bits and pieces of it in Middle English or translated French or condensed children's versions because they all evidently share common sources. I bought this at a used bookshop ...more
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انتشار 1 8 Nov 28, 2007 11:54PM  
  • Tristan: With the Tristran of Thomas
  • The Romance of Tristan
  • Arthurian Romances
  • The Quest of the Holy Grail
  • The Lais of Marie de France
  • Parzival
  • The Romance of the Rose
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends
  • The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse
  • The History of the Kings of Britain
  • The Arthurian Encyclopedia
  • Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 1
  • The Mabinogion
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • The Book of the City of Ladies
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...
Chanson de Roland Commente La Chanson de Roland La chanson de Roland: Présentation bilingue Τριστάνος και Ιζόλδη Folie Tristan

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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.” 28 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.” 9 likes
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