from the 12th century onwards the legends of King Arthur and his knights, including the Tristan legend, spread across Europe, producing a vast range of adaptations and new stories. German and Dutch literature were of central importance in this expansion of Arthurian material from the 12th to 16th century, contributing works of outstanding aesthetic quality and a lively process of reception, adaptation and transmission in which the Arthurian subject matter underwent various modifications in contact with northern and central European traditions. The present book provides the most inclusive and up-to-date survey of Arthurian works and themes in mediaeval German and Dutch literature and also treats pictorial representations of Arthurian topics, the impact of Arthurian motifs on real life, and the revival and adaptation of Arthurian legends in literature, music, drama and film in the German speaking world from the 18th century to the present day. The material is arranged partly chronologically and partly according to theme or genre into 19 chapters by specialist contributors.
Most chapters treat a group of texts or a subject that stretches over considerable time, so as to convey the many lines of influence that run through the Arthurian corpus, and a synthesis of the main themes and findings of the book is provided in an introduction. The contributors provide information about the individual works (questions of authorship, source, dating, patronage) and critical discussions of interpretative issues in the light of current scholarship, so that the book forms a guide for students and the general reader, and a point of reference and debate for further research in the field. Bibliographies at the end of each chapter facilitate the use of the book as a work of reference. Quotations are translated into English.