Matter of Britain

Statuta Mutine Reformata, 1420–1485; parchment codex bound in wood and leather with brass plaques worked the corners and in the center, with clasps.

Body of medieval literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and Brittany and the legendary kings and heroes associated with it, particularly King Arthur.

- Matter of Britain

500 related topics

Relevance

Matter of France

Body of literature and legendary material associated with the history of France, in particular involving Charlemagne and his associates.

Together with the Matter of Britain, which concerned King Arthur, and the Matter of Rome, comprising material derived from and inspired by classical mythology, it was one of the great European literary cycles that figured repeatedly in medieval literature.

Historia Regum Britanniae

Pseudohistorical account of British history, written around 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Illumination from a 15th-century manuscript of Historia regum Britanniae showing Vortigern and Ambros watching the fight between two dragons.

It is one of the central pieces of the Matter of Britain.

Paladin

The Paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century.

The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux (manuscript illustration c. 1455–1460)
Roland storms the temple of Muhammad (Codex Palatinus Germanicus, 12th century)
Fierabras (1497 woodcut)
Die drei Paladine des deutschen Kaisers by Wilhelm Camphausen (Die Gartenlaube, 1871)
Hans Peder Pedersen-Dan's 1907 statue of Holger Danske (Ogier the Dane) in the casemates at Kronborg castle, Denmark

They first appear in the medieval (12th century) chanson de geste cycle of the Matter of France, where they play a similar role to the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian romance.

Cymbeline

Play by William Shakespeare set in Ancient Britain (c.

Imogen in her bedchamber in Act II, scene ii, when Iachimo witnesses the mole under her breast. Painting by Wilhelm Ferdinand Souchon.
Posthumus and Imogen by John Faed.
Iachomo stealing Imogen's bracelet, Act II Scene ii. Illustration by Louis Rhead, designed for an edition of Lamb's Tales, copyrighted 1918.
Imogen Discovered in the Cave of Belarius by George Dawe.
Watercolour of Posthumus and Imogen by Henry Justice Ford.
The first page of Cymbeline from the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, published in 1623.
Dame Ellen Terry as Imogen.
Image of Thomas D'Urfey, who adapted Shakespeare's Cymbeline in 1682.
A portrait of Franz Schubert, who composed a lied for the song "Hark, hark! the lark."

10–14) and based on legends that formed part of the Matter of Britain concerning the early Celtic British King Cunobeline.

Nennius

Welsh monk of the 9th century.

The opening few lines of the Middle Welsh manuscript Enwau ac Anryfeddodau Ynys Prydain from the Red Book of Hergest, which continued the wonders tradition of geographical descriptions of the Island of Britain after the Historia

The Historia Brittonum was highly influential, becoming a major contributor to the Arthurian legend, in particular for its inclusion of events relevant to debate about the historicity of King Arthur.

List of literary cycles

Group of stories focused on common figures, often based on mythical figures or loosely on historical ones.

Ballads of bravery (1877) part of Arthurian mythology

The Matter of Britain (or the "Arthurian cycle"), which centers on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Gawain

Sir Gawaine the Son of Lot, King of Orkney, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
"Gavvain's" attributed arms
"Galvagin" depicted in the Italian Modena Archivolt (c. 1135)
Gawain unwittingly fights Yvain in the Garrett MS. No. 125 manuscript of Chrétien's Knight of the Lion (c. 1295)
"Walewein" follows a flying checkboard in a 14th-century Dutch manuscript Roman van Walewein (en het schaakspel)
"Sir Gawain seized his lance and bade them farewell", Frank T. Merrill's illustration for A Knight of Arthur's Court or the Tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1910)
"The Passing of Sir Gawaine", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King Arthur (1910)
Parzival's Gawain in a capital relief at the Church of Saint-Pierre, Caen
"Sir Gawaine finds the beautiful Lady", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
John Tenniel's illustration for "The Song of Courtesy", George Meredith's take on Gawain and the Loathly Lady published in Once a Week magazine in 1859
The Vigil by John Pettie (1884)
"Nevertheless You, O Sir Gauwaine, Lie." Florence Harrison's illustration for Early Poems of William Morris (1914)
"In the morning one of these ladies came to Gawaine." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1914)
"Now you have released me from the spell completely." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race (1910)
Sir Gawain bends over the exhausted Maid Avoraine in concern after she has proved her love by running after his horse for two days. John Everett Millais' and Joseph Swain's wood engraving illustration for Robert Williams Buchanan's poem "Maid Avoraine" published in Once a Week magazine in 1862

Gawain, also known as Gawaine or Gauwaine, among other forms and spellings, is a character in Arthurian legend, in which he is King Arthur's nephew and a Knight of the Round Table.

Lancelot

Lancelot slays the dragon of Corbenic in Arthur Rackham's illustration for Tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard (1917)
James Archer's Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere (1864)
Lancelot fighting the two dragons guarding the entrance to Morgan's Val Without Return in an illumination of a 15th-century French Lancelot-Grail manuscript. The arms attributed to him: argent with three bendlets gules
The Earthly Paradise (Sir Lancelot at the Chapel of the Holy Grail) by Edward Burne-Jones (1890s)
Howard Pyle's illustration for The Story of the Champions of the Round Table (1905): "The Lady Nymue beareth away Launcelot into the Lakes."
An illustration for Tales of the Round Table, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthur by Andrew Lang (1908): "Sir Lancelot did not stop, and the archers shot his horse with many arrows, but he jumped from its back and ran past them deeper into the wood."
N. C. Wyeth's illustration for The Boy's King Arthur, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthur by Sidney Lanier (1922): "He rode his way with the Queen unto Joyous Gard."
Lancelot Brings Guenevere to Arthur, an illustration for Andrew Lang's The Book of Romance (1902)
Morgan, Sebile and two other witch-queens find Lancelot sleeping in William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Le Morte d'Arthur by Janet MacDonald Clark (1914)
Seduction of Lancelot in the Livre de Lancelot du Lac (c. 1401–1425)
Lancelot's rescue of Guinevere from the stake in Henry Justice Ford's illustration for Andrew Lang's Tales of the Round Table (1908)
A 1962 publicity photo of Robert Goulet as Lancelot and Janet Pavek as Guenevere in the musical Camelot
"How Lancelot fought the six knights of Chastel d'Uter to save the knight of the badly-cut coat." (Tristan en prose c. 1479–1480)
Lancelot, dressed in brown, living with his companions in a hermit hut at the end of his life (Tristan en prose c. 1450–1460)
Facing Turquine: "I am Sir Launcelot du Lake, King Ban's son of Benwick."
"Sir Mador's spear broke all to pieces, but his spear held."
"[Lancelot] ever ran wild wood from place to place"
"Launcelot saw her visage, he wept not greatly, but sighed."

Lancelot du Lac (French for Lancelot of the Lake), also written as Launcelot and other variants (such as early German Lanzelet, early French Lanselos, early Welsh Lanslod Lak, Italian Lancillotto, Spanish Lanzarote del Lago, and Welsh Lawnslot y Llyn), is a character in some versions of Arthurian legend, where he is typically depicted as King Arthur's close companion and one of the greatest Knights of the Round Table.

Knights of the Round Table

Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail by William Dyce (1849)
The attributed arms of Agloval de Galles
"Queen Guenever's Peril." Alfred Kappes' illustration for The Boy's King Arthur (1880)
The arms of Arthur le Petit
Shared attributed arms of Blamor and Blioberis
Brandelis' attributed arms
The attributed arms of Calogrenant
Calogrenant at the fountain in the BN MS fr.1433 manuscript of Yvain ou le chevalier au lion (c. 1325)
The attributed arms of "Dodinet le Sauvaige"
The arms of Helain le Blanc
The attributed arms of "Herec le fils Lac"
The attributed arms of "Exclabor ly Viescovtiens"
The attributed arms of the Duc de Clerence
Girflet's attributed arms
Giflet throwing Excalibur into the lake in a 1470 illustration for the 13th-century romance La Mort du roi Arthur
The attributed arms of Hector des Mares
Lancelot stops his half-brother Hector from killing Arthur defeated in battle, as depicted by William Dyce in King Arthur Unhorsed, Spared by Sir Launcelot (1852)
The attributed arms of "Lucam le Bouteillier"
Mador's attributed arms
"At last the strange knight smote him to the earth, and gave him such a bugget on the helm as well-night killed him." Lancelot Speed's illustration for The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by James Knowles (1912)
The attributed arms of "Mellienderis"
The attributed arms of Morholt d'Irlande
Saphar's attributed arms
The attributed arms of "Securades"
"Sir Segwarides rides after Sir Tristram." F. A. Fraser's illustration for Henry Frith's King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1912)
The attributed arms of Tor
The attributed arms of Yvain the Bastard
His attributed arms
Le Morte d'Arthur scene of Guinevere with some of her unarmed knights before they are ambushed by Maleagant, as depicted in Queen Guinevere's Maying by John Collier
The attributed arms of Seguran le Brun

The Knights of the Round Table (Marchogion y Ford Gron, Marghekyon an Moos Krenn, Marc'hegien an Daol Grenn) are the knights of the fellowship of King Arthur in the literary cycle of the Matter of Britain.

Guinevere

Guinevere watching the mortally wounded Arthur being sailed off to Avalon in Queen Guinevere by James Archer (c. 1860)
Guinevere by Henry Justice Ford (c. 1910)
Lady Guinevere, Howard Pyle's illustration for The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
Guinevere Takes Refuge in a Convent, Edmund H. Garrett's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Court (1911)
Guinevere with Enid and Vivien by George and Louis Rhead (1898)
Guinevere and Iseult by William Morris (1862)
Ritter und Dame (Sir Lancelot und Guinevere) by Wilhelm List (c. 1902)
Meigle stone detail
A scene preceding the kidnapping by Maleagant: "How Queen Guenever rode a maying into the woods and fields beside Westminster."
Arthur Rackham's illustration from The Romance of King Arthur (1917), abridged from Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard
Ellen Terry as Guinevere in the play King Arthur by J. Comyns Carr in the Lyceum Theatre production, designed by Edward Burne-Jones, in an American postcard mailed 12 January 1895
A 1961 photo of Robert Goulet as Lancelot and Julie Andrews as Guenevere in the musical Camelot

Guinevere (Gwenhwyfar ; Gwenivar, Gwynnever), also often written in Modern English as Guenevere or Guenever, was, according to Arthurian legend, an early-medieval queen of Great Britain and the wife of King Arthur.