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The Complete Romances

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  225 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This new translation brings to life for a new generation of readers the stories of King Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Gawain, Perceval, Yvain, and the other "knights and ladies" of Chretien de Troyes' famous romances.

Table of Contents:
Erec and Enide
The Knight of the Cart
The Knight With the Lion
The Story of the Grail
Appendix: William of Engl
Paperback, 576 pages
Published January 22nd 1991 by Indiana University Press (first published January 1st 1991)
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Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthuriana
Have I ever told you that I have a HUGE obsession for Arthurian legends? Well, I'll tell you now :P
Chretien de Troyes works are so witty, extremely modern and romantic!
My favourite is -of course- Lancelot du lac ou le Chevalier de la Charrette... motivations?
1- This is the first novel EVER that has Lancelot as the main character. Infact, Chretien is actually Lancelot's "dad"...
2- It's fun! Lancelot looks so silly!
3- It's romantic! Lancelot&Guinevere are so in love...they're just...<3
4- Ad
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you have any interest in chivalry, Arthurian legends, or Medieval texts, this book is a must have. Few people realize that so many of our cherished values and tales spawn from the rules of love and etiquette that Chretien de Troyes encoded in his writing. Ironically, his least favorite work became his best known--that of Lancelot. Eric and Enide, on the other hand, is singularly unique for its era: both the man and the woman function as main characters as they journey together towards a deep ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arthuriana
Titled "The Complete Romances" instead of "Arthurian Romances," like the Penguin and Everyman translations, because, in addition to the five such works securely attributed to Chretien de Troyes, it contains a lesser known non-Arthurian work.

This is another prose version (along with the two cited above). If I recall correctly (I don't have a copy at hand), it contains more information on the manuscript textual variants than either of the other two modern versions, which may or may not interest th
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and again I pick up Chretien. As outrageous and totally preposterous as the characters are, I am often reminded that people don't change. They are just ridiculous today as they were in the 12th century. I mean, look at our politicians. At least back then they had manners, and swords. While "The Knight in the Cart" is probably my favorite, this time I decided to read "The Knight with the Lion." It's not quite as dynamic as the Cart, but definitely gets better as it goes and ends quite w ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nothing near as complex as the later romances of writers like Ariosto, Boiardo or Tasso, and not even close to the almost inscrutable work of Wolfram von Eschenbach, who de Troyes directly influenced. These stories are very straightforward, follow only one narrative thread at a time, and could be understood by almost anyone. They are a thorough pleasure to read in any case. De Troyes virtually invented the written Arthurian Romance.
To quote from the introduction, "Eric and Enide, not only Chretien's first but the first Arthurian romance, focuses on Erec and his beloved Enide." The first story in the collection is very different from Tennyson's version of Arthur's knights. This is interesting reading to see how the Arthurian romances evolved.
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The best American translation of Chrétien de Troyes' romantic poetry, which includes the story of Lancelot, Yvain, Percival (his story is in operatic form in The Pearl Fishers), Cliges, and Erec et Enide. The more famous translation is W. Comfort's Arthurian Romances, done at the turn of the twentieth century, but this version is both more complete and more satisfying.
Benji Cossa
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The "first" Arthurian romance writer. It's a must read for anyone interested in the subject - although you might not want to get this particular edition. You can get the stories separately and sometimes they are in rhyming couplets of which I am very fond. This book, I believe, has all the stories written like prose.
As it happens, David Staines is my Traditions of King Arthur prof. Chretien is definitely the best stuff we've looked at so far in the course, and this edition is very readable and at times a definite riot. Tales of the knights as they should be told, most definitely.
Robert Sanchez
Just finished Erec and Enide, it was not as bad as I expected.
Starting knight of the cart today at lunch, huzzah!

I only read the first two stories for class, they were fine I guess for Arthurian Romance from centuries past.
Trish Little
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not a huge fan of this type of literature. It becomes more of a chore to read than an enjoyment. I do enjoy studying this period and the techniques used in this writing but it is overly not fun for me.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This was a good translation, it made the religious ties to Arthurian legend more apparent and detailed the background of the tales and Chretien.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Only read The Knight of the Cart and The Knight and the Lion.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Highlights: "The Knight with the Lion" and "Erec and Enide".

And this is where the bastardization of the Arthurian stories began...ah, Chretien. What have you wrought???
Christopher Orr
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Chrétien de Troyes, commonly regarded as the father of Arthurian romance and a key figure in Western literature, composed in French in the latter part of the twelfth century. Virtually nothing is known of his life. Possibly a native of Troyes, he enjoyed patronage there from the Countess Marie of Champagne before dedicating his last romance to Count Philip of Flanders, perhaps about 1182. His poet ...more