I have embarked on the major project of translating Chrétien de Troyes' four main Arthurian tales, namely Érec et Énide, Cligès, Yvain or the Knight of the Lion, and Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart. Written in the French of the late 12th Century, the poems are surprisingly sophisticated, and give a detailed picture of courtly and chivalric life, especially that of the court of Marie of France, with which the author was familiar.
Prose translations of Arthurian works tend to produce quite dull reading, and certainly do not give the full flavour of these delightful French works, so despite the difficulties of rhyming short lines in modern English I have decided to translate the extensive tales in rhyming couplets in accord with the original.
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