The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas.Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin.
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His treatment of love is more practical and cynical and reflects the new attitude of rationalism that emerged in the latter half of the 13th century.
The Lover encounters numerous obstacles before finally reaching his maiden and embracing her, and the poem draws to an end with the dreamer awakening at sunrise.
This manuscript is part of a larger collection by Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921).
A scholar and avid book collector from Buddington, Sussex, Bourdillon’s main interest was in French romantic literature although some English literary works are included in his collection.
In addition, there are numerous miniatures and fine gilded capital letters throughout the text.
Most of the miniatures are found in the first part of Roman de la rose (ff.
This manuscript has been digitised as an early example of what Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan deems ‘the most influential of all romances produced in medieval France’. The manuscript is also worthy of attention for its highly detailed miniatures and ornate capital lettering throughout the work.
It is a fine representative of Bourdillon’s extensive and extraordinarily valuable collection.
King Arthur is 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 AD.