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Folklore Studies and the Arthurian Legend: Virtual Special Issue 3, 2012

Virtual Special Issues of Folklore

Virtual Special Issues of Folklore are selections of articles on specific themes hand picked by our editor Patricia Lysaght, with a podcast introduction by our reviews editor Juliette Wood, and a reading list of featured articles. All the articles are free to download by members of The Folklore Society.

Listen to the podcast

Excerpt from the podcast

Few stories are as well-known or as widely told as the exploits of King Arthur and his knights. Their adventures, as retold in medieval romances and folktales, conjure up images of an heroic past, and a growing sense of British identity in the nineteenth century saw a revival of interest in this tradition. New translations and editions of Arthurian texts appeared, and with them, new research into the sources for the narratives and of the nature of Arthur himself. The Folklore Society, at once international in scope and grounded in the new discipline of folklore studies, was well placed to contribute to this revival, and Alfred Nutt, publisher, editor of the Society’s journal Folklore and considerable scholar in his own right, encouraged this discussion.

Download the Podcast Transcript and Reading List

Featured articles from Folklore

King Arthur’s Enchanted Sleep: Early Nineteenth Century Legends, by J. R. Simpson, vol. 97/2, 1986

The Perils of Good Advice: The Effect of the Wise Counsellor upon the Conduct of Gawain, by Raymond H. Thompson, vol. 90/1, 1979

Snow and Mist in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – Portents of the Otherworld? by Martin Puhvel, vol. 89/2, 1978

Tom Thumb and Jack the Giant Killer: Two Arthurian Folktales? by Thomas Green, vol. 118/2, 2007

King Arthur in History and Legend, by Mary Williams, vol. 73/2, 1962

The Cult of Arthurian Relics, by E. M. R. Ditmas, vol. 75/1, 1964

Further reading

Gawain Against Arthur. The Impact of a Mythological Pattern upon Arthurian Tradition in Accounts of the Birth of Gawain, by Raymond H. Thompson, vol. 85/2, 1974

‘Muse on þi Mirrour…’: The Challenge of the Outlandish Stranger in the English Arthurian Verse Romances, by Raymond H. Thompson, vol. 87/2, 1976

Review of Rodney Castleden, King Arthur: The Truth behind the Legend (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), by Brynley Roberts, vol. 112/2, 2001

More Arthurian Relics, by E. M. R. Ditmas, vol. 77/2, 1966

The Fairy Mythology of English Literature: Its Origin and Nature, by Alfred Nutt, vol. 8/1, 1897

Arthurian Tradition and Folklore, by Roger Sherman Loomis, vol. 69/1, 1958

Tradition and Sources: The Jackson—Loomis Controversy Re-Examined, by Raymond J. Cormier, vol. 83/2, 1972

Arthur and Gorlagon, by Frank A. Milne and A. Nutt, vol. 15/1, 1904

The Roman van Walewein (Gawain), by W. P. Ker, vol. 5/2, 1894

The History of the Destruction of the Round Table as Told in Hebrew in the Year 1279, by Moses Gaster, vol. 20/3, 1909