The Anonymous French Verse Brut Tradition

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Jean Blacker (Kenyon College)
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General Introduction

Thus far we have discovered 16 early anonymous French verse versions of the Galfridian material: of those 16, 8 contain versions of Merlin’s Prophecies (one octosyllabic, four decasyllabic, and three alexandrine), and the rest have various sections of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae; all of the manuscripts are Anglo-Norman, except two, and the majority of the texts themselves date from the twelfth century, though they are found in manuscripts largely from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (see note 1). We will examine four of these early anonymous French verse Bruts, chosen because they contain important sections of the Galfridian material, that is, either the foundation myths of Britain, the adventus Saxonum (i.e., the arrival of the

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Citation: Blacker, Jean. "The Anonymous French Verse Brut Tradition". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2024 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19708, accessed 26 May 2024.]

19708 The Anonymous French Verse Brut Tradition 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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