2021 | Translated by Patrick Moran
This is a new Modern French translation by Dr. Patrick Moran of the early 13th-century Old French romance La Mort le roi Artu, which contains an introduction and notes. It is published by La Librairie Droz (Geneva, Switzerland) and is based on the classic 1936 edition by Jean Frappier.
La Mort le roi Artu offers one of the most famous medieval accounts of the death of King Arthur and the fall of the Round Table. Written anonymously in Northern or Eastern France c. 1210-1220, it inspired European literature throughout the Middle Ages and was a huge influence on English retellings (particularly Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur).
La Mort le Roi Artu depicts an Arthurian world on the edge of the precipice, where envy and resentment jeopardize traditional chivalrous values, where the forbidden love of Queen Guinevere and Lancelot du Lac risks being revealed at any time and destroying the fragile balance of the court. The last part of the Lancelot-Graal cycle, copied endlessly until the 15th century before being printed many times during the Renaissance, this anonymous novel constitutes the richest and most complex version of the fall of Arthur’s kingdom, through a choral story where the heroes of yesteryear fall prey to their own desires and the whims of Fortune. Here we find the critical Lachmannian edition of Jean Frappier, with a new and very successful translation by Patrick Moran.