British Travelers History

British Travelers History - British History and Romance By...

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British History and   Romance By Audrey Rogers Dr. Perkins : HIS 315 January 24, 2008
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Romance has taken on many roles throughout history. In Britain the legends of adulterous love lead to the demise of the Kingdom, showing the importance of loyalty and nationalism. While the romantic adventures of Henry VIII and the Tudors changed the course of history for religion and monarchies. Finally in a culmination of the transition during the Industrial Revolution, Romanticism, a new intellectual and artistic movement was born. Fervent emotion coupled with simplicity in virtue and beauty created a new social movement in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Ancient love legends of Britain are an indication of the importance of romance to early Britons. The tragic love triangle of Tristan, Isolde, and King Mark is a pervasive theme throughout literature. There are numerous variations and authors of the adulterous love affair between Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish Princess Isolde. Tristan and Isolde fall in love only to be separated without knowing each others true identity. When King Mark is to marry Isolde, Tristan and Isolde rediscover each other, but must hide their love and are miserable. The love story of Tristan and Isolde displays what was important in Medieval Britain. Honor and political loyalty are the highlighted themes of the story. Their love conflict ended with the destruction of the King Mark’s Kingdom. Nationalism is also a product of this story, which first appeared in the 12th century, but their stories have been retold and recreated throughout the ages. The legend of Tristan and Isolde was also likely to have had a great influence on the love legend of King Arthur’s Camelot. There are many stories with the character of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, but overall images and themes remain consistent. King Arthur is often shown as a perfect, chivalrous leader that respects and honors his Knights. Unfortunately his wife, Guinevere, begins an illicit affair with 2
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Arthur’s best Knight, Lancelot, which then leads to the fall of his court and perfect Camelot. King Arthur’s legend is very similar to that of Tristan and Isolde. The first appearance of Arthur's reign is found in the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century Latin work Historia Regum Britanniae . Another French poet, Chrétien de Troyes, had the greatest influence in early documentation of the love story. Alfred Lloyd Tennyson, “transformed culturally problematic Welsh legends into icons for Anglican nationalism” 1 in his Idylls of the King, and his version became extremely popular and is still well known. Tennyson had to handle the myth very carefully due to its heavy Catholic undertones, in order to create “a past in which England, not Rome, reigned as the beacon of divine guidance and moral superiority.” 2 In this literary history, we find that the legends of King Arthur support English independence from the influences of Rome in two interesting ways. First, the legends
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course HIST 315 taught by Professor Perkins during the Spring '08 term at Centre College.

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British Travelers History - British History and Romance By...

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