Robert Boron, Estoire de Merlin [The Story of Merlin]

Carina Becker (Heinrich Heine Universität)
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The anonymous Old French

Estoire de Merlin


The Story of Merlin

] is the first extant narrative with Merlin as we know him today at its centre. The


casts Merlin as Arthur’s magically and prophetically gifted advisor – a role with which he has been associated ever since, and on which most modern adaptations are based.

The Estoire is one of the earliest Arthurian romances in prose and survives, with a number of variant versions, in 55 manuscripts. The text was composed in several stages. It consists of an adaptation of Robert de Boron’s Merlin, a verse text of which only a fragment of 504 lines survives, and of a continuation, which was added to it about a decade afterwards. Boron composed his Merlin in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century (for a summary of opinions on

2640 words

Citation: Becker, Carina. "Estoire de Merlin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 February 2023 [, accessed 14 April 2024.]

41042 Estoire de Merlin 3 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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