Chivalric romance

romanceromancescourtly romanceromanticmedieval romanceRomance literaturechivalric romancesromance genreverse romancehistorical romance
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe.wikipedia
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Knight-errant

knight errantknights errantwhite knight
They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest.
A knight-errant (or knight errant, ) is a figure of medieval chivalric romance literature.

Chivalry

chivalricchivalrouschivalric code
They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest.
The meaning of the term evolved over time because in the Middle Ages the meaning of chevalier changed from the original concrete military meaning "status or fee associated with a military follower owning a war horse" or "a group of mounted knights" to the ideal of the Christian warrior ethos propagated in the romance genre, which was becoming popular during the 12th century, and the ideal of courtly love propagated in the contemporary Minnesang and related genres.

Don Quixote

Don QuijoteDon Quixote de la ManchaDon Quijote de la Mancha
Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, and Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote.
The plot revolves around the adventures of a noble (hidalgo) from La Mancha named Alonso Quixano, who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his mind and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Novel

novelsmodern novelthe novel
Unlike the later form of the novel and like the chansons de geste, the genre of romance dealt with traditional themes.
The novel constitutes "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella.

Medievalism

medievalistmediaevalistMiddle Ages
Still, the modern image of "medieval" is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, and the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels, dragons, and other romantic tropes.
The name "Romanticism" itself was derived from the medieval genre chivalric romance.

King Arthur

ArthurianArthurArthurian legend
Overwhelmingly, these were linked in some way, perhaps only in an opening frame story, with three thematic cycles of tales: these were assembled in imagination at a late date as the "Matter of Rome" (actually centered on the life and deeds of Alexander the Great conflated with the Trojan War), the "Matter of France" (Charlemagne and Roland, his principal paladin) and the "Matter of Britain" (the lives and deeds of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, within which was incorporated the quest for the Holy Grail); medieval authors explicitly described these as comprising all romances.
King Arthur, also called Arthur Pendragon, was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

Emaré

Emare
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
Emaré is a Middle English Breton lai, a form of Mediaeval romance poem, told in 1035 lines.

Havelok the Dane

HavelokHavelock the DaneLay of Havelock the Dane
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
Havelok the Dane, also known as Havelok or Lay of Havelok the Dane, is a Middle English romance considered to be part of the Matter of England.

Chanson de geste

chansons de gesteCarolingian legendschansons
Unlike the later form of the novel and like the chansons de geste, the genre of romance dealt with traditional themes. It developed further from the epics as time went on; in particular, "the emphasis on love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates."
The earliest known poems of this genre date from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, before the emergence of the lyric poetry of the trouvères (troubadours) and the earliest verse romances.

Le Bone Florence of Rome

Florence of Rome
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
Le Bone Florence of Rome is a medieval English chivalric romance.

King Horn

HornHorn ChildeHorn Childe & Maiden Rimnild
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
King Horn is a Middle English chivalric romance dating back to the middle of the thirteenth century.

Roswall and Lillian

In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
Roswall and Lillian is a medieval Scottish chivalric romance.

Matter of Rome

Matter of TroyMatter of Troy and of Romeof Rome
Overwhelmingly, these were linked in some way, perhaps only in an opening frame story, with three thematic cycles of tales: these were assembled in imagination at a late date as the "Matter of Rome" (actually centered on the life and deeds of Alexander the Great conflated with the Trojan War), the "Matter of France" (Charlemagne and Roland, his principal paladin) and the "Matter of Britain" (the lives and deeds of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, within which was incorporated the quest for the Holy Grail); medieval authors explicitly described these as comprising all romances.
Bodel divided all the literary cycles he knew best into the Matter of Britain, the Matter of France and the Matter of Rome (although "non-cyclical" romance also existed).

Huon of Bordeaux

Huon de BordeauxClarisse et FlorentChanson d'Esclarmonde
Many early tales had the knight, such as Sir Launfal, meet with fairy ladies, and Huon of Bordeaux is aided by King Oberon, but these fairy characters were transformed, more and more often, into wizards and enchantresses.
Huon of Bordeaux is the title character of a 13th-century French epic poem with romance elements.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Gawain and the Green KnightGreen KnightGawain and the Green Knight, a New Verse Translation
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late tale, but the Green Knight himself is an otherworldly being.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English: Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt) is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance.

Crescentia (romance)

Crescentia
Indeed, some tales are found so often that scholars group them together as the "Constance cycle" or the "Crescentia cycle"—referring not to a continuity of character and setting, but to the recognizable plot.
Crescentia is an Early Middle High German chivalric romance, written in Kaiserchronik about 1150.

Morgan le Fay

MorganaMorganMorgaine
Morgan le Fay never loses her name, but in Le Morte d'Arthur, she studies magic rather than being inherently magical.
There, and in the early chivalric romances by Chrétien de Troyes and others, her chief role is that of a great healer.

Amadas

Sir Amadace
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
Amadas, or Sir Amadace is a medieval English chivalric romance, one of the rare ones for which there is neither a known nor a conjectured French original, like Sir Eglamour of Artois.

Valentine and Orson

OrsonValentine and Nameless
While he never eliminates the mother-in-law, many romances such as Valentine and Orson have later variants that change from the mother-in-law to the courtier, whereas a more recent version never goes back.
Valentine and Orson is a romance which has been attached to the Carolingian cycle.

Old French

FrenchMedieval FrenchOF
Originally, romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman, Occitan, and Provençal, and later in Portuguese, Castilian, English, Italian (Sicilian poetry), and German.
At the beginning of the 13th century, Jean Bodel, in his Chanson de Saisnes, divided medieval French narrative literature into three subject areas: the Matter of France or Matter of Charlemagne; the Matter of Rome (romances in an ancient setting); and the Matter of Britain (Arthurian romances and Breton lais).

Quest

questsjourneychivalric quest
They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest.
Many medieval romances sent knights out on quests.

Sir Eglamour of Artois

Sir EglamourEglamour
By the end of the 14th century, counter to the earliest formulations, many French and English romances combined courtly love, with love sickness and devotion on the man's part, with the couple's subsequent marriage; this featured in Sir Degrevant, Sir Torrent of Portyngale, Sir Eglamour, and William of Palerne.
Sir Eglamour of Artois is a Middle English verse romance that was written sometime around 1350.

Ipomadon

Hippomadon
In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection; these include such romances as King Horn, Robert the Devil, Ipomadon, Emaré, Havelok the Dane,Roswall and Lillian, Le Bone Florence of Rome, and Amadas.
The majority of the character's names in this medieval romance are taken from Ancient Greece, via the mid-twelfth century Old French Roman de Thèbes, and the action takes place in southern Italy; once Magna Graecia or Megálē Hellás, "Great Greece".

Erec and Enide

Erec et EnideÉrec et Énide
In Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart (unlike his earlier Erec and Enide), the behavior of Lancelot conforms to the courtly love ideal; it also, though still full of adventure, devotes an unprecedented amount of time to dealing with the psychological aspects of the love.
Erec and Enide (Érec et Énide) is the first of Chrétien de Troyes' five romance poems, completed around 1170.

Sir Degrevant

By the end of the 14th century, counter to the earliest formulations, many French and English romances combined courtly love, with love sickness and devotion on the man's part, with the couple's subsequent marriage; this featured in Sir Degrevant, Sir Torrent of Portyngale, Sir Eglamour, and William of Palerne.
Sir Degrevant is a Middle English romance from the early fifteenth century.