"Lancelot and the Grail" offers a solution to the problems of how the tale of Lancelot's love for Guinevere came to be linked with the quest for the Holy Grail. The first part of this book establishes the existence and coherence of a version of the French prose Lancelot, in which his love is presented as a source of his chivalric achievement. This romance contains no Grail quest, but only allusions to one already achieved by Perceval. The second part studies the transformation of this Lancelot "without the Grail" into an integral part of a Lancelot-Grail cycle, where the destructive element in Lancelot's relationship with Guinevere is recognized. Based on many years' work, on the textual tradition of a romance copied and read over three centuries, "Lancelot and the Grail" raises questions pertinent to the study of early European literature: the interplay between feudal relationships and literary structures, intertextuality, and the development of a text through time.
` essential reading for all those interested in the medieval creative process of reinterpretation'
'Through its acumen and thoroughness it greatly advances our knowledge of the technique of interlace and will become essential reading for all those interested in the medieval cre ative process of reinterpretation.' uAutomatic Writing
`The product of many years of meticulous and detailed study ... it has been warmly welcomed as a plausible attempt to explain the harmonisation of the Lancelot and grail legends.'
Forum for Modern Language Studies
Lancelot and the Grail is a landmark. It is the first book-length study devoted entirely to the Old French Lancelot since F.Lot's pioneering volume in 1918. To treat Lancelot and the Grail only as a companion to the noncyclic romance would be shortsighted, for while Kennedy's analysis provides a convincing argument in favor of her initial hypothesis, it is also an invaluable account of the artistry that operates in the cyclic romance.
Kennedy's quiet, often understated style, her matter-of-fact tone, and the painstaking care with which she presents her analysis make Lancelot and the Grail a work of very readable, reliable scholarship. Certainly, no student of the Lancelot can afford to be without it, and scholars interested in the development of
interlace and prose narrative cannot ignore it. Carol R. Dover, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies
Part 1 Lancelot without the grail: a description of the non-cyclic romance; the making of a name or quest for identity; the love theme; feudal links and the role of Arthur and his court; the lake and Arthurian magic; the grail allusions; the tale and the interlace; repetition and other linking devices; the coherence of the prose "Lancelot" without the grail. Part 2 Lancelot with the grail: Lancelot with the grail - first stage; Lancelot with the grail - second stage; general conclusion. Appendices: The "Perlesvaus" and the non-cyclic prose "Lancelot"; a list of references to the text with cross-references to other editions.