Looking for Tristan

February 21, 2008

We’re reading from Howard Pyle’s Champions of the Round Table, and are partway through the story of Sir Tristan and the Belle Iseult. I’m having a little bit of trouble sifting through the various versions of Tristan and Isuelt (or Isolde, if you’re an opera fan) to discover which of the many versions were re-wrought by Pyle into something approaching a suitable bed-time story. Joseph Bedier’s version of The Prose Tristam looks pretty close, and Pyle may have also borrowed from Swinburne. Who knows. It’s all great fun, though it’s easy to see why some of the not-so-admirable bits were redacted. There’ll be plenty of time for tragedy later on.

Finally: The Tristan Stone in Cornwall. Lyonesse, and again Lyonesse.


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