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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Arthur of the Italians

The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Italian Literature and Culture

Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Arthur of the Italians

The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Italian Literature and Culture

The Arthurian legend reached all levels of society in medieval and Renaissance Italy, from princely courts, with their luxury books and frescoed palaces, to the merchant classes and popular audiences in the piazza, who enjoyed shorter retellings in verse and prose. The Arthur of the Italians offers an overview of the Arthurian fiction and art created in Italy during this time, with chapters examining, among other topics, the transmission of the French romances across Italy; the reworking of Arthurian tales in various Italian regional dialects; the textual relations of the story of Tristan; the narrative structures employed by Italian writers; later ottava rima poetic versions in the new medium of printed books; and the Arthurian-themed art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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“Finally, a volume in English about the Arthurian legend in Italy. This will be a welcome addition not only to the libraries of Italianists but also to those of medievalists, comparatists, and general readers. New editions of texts as well as manuscript and artistic discoveries long ago outdated the few short chapters in English about Italian Arthuriana published in large part in the early to mid-twentieth century. This volume, with its broad range of interdisciplinary studies and up-to-date bibliography, will be an essential point of departure for future research in the field.”

Leslie Zarker Morgan, Loyola University Maryland

“With this volume, Psaki and Allaire elevate the ‘third tier’ of Arthurian literature to appropriate preeminence. Too long neglected, Italian Arthuriana is now for the first time in English given the scholarly introduction it deserves. A groundbreaking contribution to Arthurian scholarship, this volume should be essential reading for all students of the corpus.”

Donald Hoffman, Northeastern Illinois University

Table of Contents

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The Contributors
Introduction: The Arthur of the Italians
F. Regina Psaki
Part One: France and Italy
1. Arthuriana in the Italian Regions of Medieval Francophonia
Keith Busby
2. French Redactions in Italy: Rustichello da Pisa
Fabrizio Cigni
3. From France to Italy: The Tristan Texts
Marie-José Heijkant
4. The Italian Contribution: La Tavola Ritonda
Daniela Dicorno Branca
Part Two: Arthurian Material in Italian Narrative Forms
5. Narrative Structure in Medieval Italian Arthurian Romance
Stefano Mula
6. Arthurian Material in Italian Cantari
Maria Bendinelli Predelli
7. Arthur as Renaissance Epic
Eleonora Stoppino
Part Three: Arthur beyond Romance
8. The Arthurian Presence in Early Italian Lyric
Roberta Capelli
9. Arthur in Medieval Italian Short Narrative
F. Regina Psaki
10. The Arthurian Tradition in the Three Crowns
Christopher Kleinhenz
Part Four: Arthur beyond Literature
11. Arthur in Hagiography: The Legend of San Galgano
Franco Cardini
12. Owners and Readers of Arthurian Books in Italy
Gloria Allaire
13. Arthurian Art in Italy
Gloria Allaire
14. Arthurian Art References
Gloria Allaire
Bibliography: Primary Texts
Gloria Allaire
Bibliography: Studies
Gloria Allaire
Index of Manuscripts
General Index

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