"The Perilous Cemetery" ("L'Atre Perilleux"): A text edition

Date of Completion

January 1998


Literature, Medieval|Literature, Romance




Keith Busby, in The New Arthurian Encyclopedia (1996), wrote in the entry about The Perilous Cemetery (L'Atre perilleux), an anonymous verse novel in Old French from the very beginning of the 13th century, that: "The Perilous Cemetery is ... complex and deserves closer examination." In order for scholars to be able to do so, a modern edition of the Old French text had to be available. This is precisely the object of this dissertation, which presents an edition of The Perilous Cemetery based on manuscript 472 from the Musee Conde in Chantilly. This edition follows the new approach in medievistics which consists in reproducing the manuscript as faithfully as possible. It is completed by numerous semantical notes as well as an introduction in literature and philology.^ The Perilous Cemetery is an Arthurian novel which centers around Sir Gawain, the paragon of courtly love, thus attempting to reestablish his reputation that was diminishing due to an attempt to christianize the Arthurian legend and favor the lengthy Grail novels in prose. ^