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The Danger of Romance – Truth, Fantasy, and Arthurian Fictions - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Danger of Romance: Truth, Fantasy, and Arthurian Fictions

Karen Sullivan


Since the first appearance of “romance” (roman) in mid-twelfth-century France, this genre of literature has been condemned by learned readers, who view it as failing to represent reality as it truly is and, in doing so, as leading its readers astray. While lengthy, narrative literary works in the vernacular at this time could treat the history of Rome or of France, it was those that addressed the history of Britain—that is, Arthurian romance—that came in for special censure. In the fictions they recounted about Merlin, it was argued, these works constituted bad science; in those about King Art ... More

Keywords: romance, Arthurian romance, Chrétien de Troyes, Grail Continuations, Robert de Boron, Vulgate Cycle, Post-Vulgate Cycle, fiction, France, Middle Ages

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226540122
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226540436.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Karen Sullivan, author
Bard College