Ethics in the Arthurian Legend (Book Chapter)

My chapter is “The Ethics of Writing Guinevere in Modern Historical Fiction”

An interdisciplinary and trans-historical investigation of the representation of ethics in Arthurian Literature.

From its earliest days, the Arthurian legend has been preoccupied with questions of good kingship, the behaviours of a ruling class and their effects on communities, societies, and nations, both locally and in imperial and colonizing contexts. Ethical considerations inform and are informed by local anxieties tied to questions of power and identity, especially where leadership, service and governance are concerned; they provide a framework for understanding how the texts operate as didactic and critical tools of these subjects.

This book brings together seventeen essays working across the English, Welsh, Germanic, Dutch, French, and Norse iterations of the Arthurian legend, and bridging premodern and modern temporalities, to investigate the representation of ethics in Arthurian literature across interdisciplinary and transhistorical lines. They embrace a variety of methodologies, including gender, critical race theory, philology, literature and the law, editorial practices, translation theory, game studies, comparative, critical, and close reading, and modern authorial practices. Texts interrogated range from Culwhich and Olwen to ParzivalSir Gawain and the Green Knight and Malory’s Morte Darthur.

As a whole, the approaches and findings in this volume attest to the continued value and importance of the Arthurian legend and its scholarship as a vibrant field through which to locate and understand the many ways in which medieval literature continues to inform modern sensibilities and institutions, particularly where the matter of ethics is concerned.


Boydell & Brewer | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Formats/Price: hardback ($145), ebook ($40)
Pages: 400 (17 essays)
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer