The Matière de Bretagne is centered around the characters of Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. Unlike the Matière de France, the Arthurian material tends not to focus exclusively on the genealogical background of the characters, but rather enlarges the story horizontally, detailing the exploits of various members of the Round Table with an emphasis on the fantastic rather than the historic. Female characters play a larger role in this corpus than in the other two types of Romance Epic.
The Franco-Italian works within this repertoire include:
Many of the works from the Matière de Bretagne were collected in deluxe manuscripts, which attests to the patronage of these works by wealthy and aristocratic audiences. More information on individual manuscript collections can be found here.
General Bibliography: Matière de Bretagne in Italy
Delcorno Branca, Daniela. Tristano e Lancillotto in Italia: Studi di letteratura arturiana. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 1998.
Delcorno Branca, Daniela, “I ‘Tristani’ dei Gonzaga,” In Miscellanea mediaevalia. Mélanges offerts a Philippe Ménard, vol.1, 385-393. Paris: Champion, 1998.
Gardner, E.G. The Arthurian Legend in Italian Literature. London, J.M. Dent & Sons; New York, E.P. Dutton & Co. 1930.
Holtus, Günter, “La matière de Bretagne en Italie. Quelques réflexions sur la transposition du vocabulaire et des structures sociales.”In Actes du 14eme Congrès international arthurien (Rennes, 16-24 August, 1984), 324-45. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 1985.
Infurna, Marco. “La 'Quest de Saint Graal,: in Italia e il manoscritto udinese.” In La grant Queste del Saint Graal, 49-57. Udine: Vattori, 1990.
Viscardi, A. “Arthurian influences in Italian Literature, 1200-1500.” In Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, edited by R.S. Loomis, chapter 32. Oxford: Clarenden Press, 1959.
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