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REVIEWS111 Gawain, the Suite de Merlin, Robert de Baron's Joseph, Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, Lancelot and Erec, Sir Triamour, Girart d'Amiens' Escanor, not to mention Hardyng's Chronicle, Chaucer's Trodus, Knight's Tale' and 'Franklin's Talc' and other volumes as suggested in 'Malory's Minor Sources,' 'Malory and Perlesvaus! Malory and Chrétien de Troyes' et al—to which Field adds, Tt is unlikely that we yet have a full list.' On the subject ofwhat particular manuscripts constituted Malory's 'Frensshe bookes,' however, 'Malory and the French prose Lancelot' describes a procedure which might bring us closer to answering this perennial question. Using as his base the sixteen Lancelot manuscripts now in the British Isles along with Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale MSS fr. 119-20, Field compares the Malory text, episode by episode, with the French texts and tabulates significant agreements. The results indicate that in choosing as his yardstick London, British Library Additional MS. 10293, Vinaver 'could hardly have chosen worse.' Alexander Michas Lancelot, based on Oxford, Bodleian MS. Rawlinson D.899 is closer, giving a better image ofMalory's source manuscript 'which must have stemmed from early in the manuscript tradition.' The numerous essays that aim at correcting Vinaver's Commentary range from the translation of a single word in 'Malory's Place-Names: Roone and the Low Country' to the origin of an entire book. Vinaver attributed the Tale ofGareth, which he considered an irrelevancy, to various French sources, including the 'La Côte' episode in the Prose Tristan. Citing diction characteristic oflate Middle English metrical romance, patterns ofalliteration, the use of the present participial suffix and rather than the normal -ing, a reference to the Germanic hero Wade and a pervasive occurrence of folkloric motifs, Field convincingly urges the claims of an English romance as Malory's chief source. While Eugène Vinaver's monumental edition of the Morte Darthur, including his apparatus and commentary, is unlikely to be superceded, Malory: Texts and Sources demonstrates that scholars can usefully correct the text and expand our understanding of sources, provided that they are not overwhelmed by rampant hypothesis. MURIEL W II I TA K E R University ofAlberta marión E. GIBBS and Sidney M. johnson. Medieval German Literature: A Companion. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1997. Pp. xiv, 457. isbn: 0-81531450 -7. $88. This companion to medieval German literature 'can be used as a reference book or read straight through for an overview' (xi), Marion E. Gibbs and Sidney M. Johnson inform the reader in the Preface, and this reviewer found that the book delivers what the authors promise. After checking to see what had been written about some favorite works and authors, a sequential reading from beginning to end provided a good sense of the nature and amount of information the handbook provides. 112arthuriana Following a short introduction, including some information about the history of the German language in general, the volume is divided into six periods: Old High German Literature 750-1050 (21-59), Early Middle High German Literature 1050—1170 (61-96), Middle High German Literature under the Hohenstaufens 11701273 (97-223), The Medieval German Lyric (224-303), Post-'Classical' Literature (304-415), and Literature of the Late Middle Ages: Innovations and Continuing Trends (416-53). The volume concludes with very useful chronological tables (45457 ) that place German literature in the context of other European literatures and historical events and figures. Each of the periods enumerated above is introduced by a most useful discussion ofthe historical background to which a bibliography is appended. Similarly, bibliographies are provided at the end of all subsections, or major works, as the case may be, thus permitting the reader to use the volume as announced, namely as a handbook. For example, the section on the literature of the Hohenstaufen period offers, after the obligatory historical background, a 'Noteon the Language of the Period' (103-6) with a bibliography; a section on 'Precourtly Epics' (106-16) with its bibliography; in the section on 'Early Courtly Romances' (117-27), the discussion of each major work (Eilhard von Oberge's Tristrant and Heinrich von Veldeke's Eneide) is followed by a bibliography...


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