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31 January 2019 - Merlin Manuscript Found in Bristol University library

Publié par Marion Coste le 31/01/2019

Undiscovered Merlin tale fragments found in Bristol archives

Steven Morris (The Guardian, 30/01/2019)

An intriguing, previously unknown 13th-century version of a tale featuring Merlin and King Arthur has been discovered in the archives of Bristol central library.

The seven handwritten fragments of parchment were unearthed bound inside an unrelated volume of the work of a 15th- century French scholar.

Written in Old French, they tell the story of the Battle of Trèbes, in which Merlin inspires Arthur’s forces with a stirring speech and leads a charge using Sir Kay’s special dragon standard, which breathes real fire.

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Middle Ages Merlin manuscript found in Bristol University library

(BBC News, 30/01/2019)

Fragments of a manuscript from the Middle Ages which tell the story of Merlin the magician from Arthurian legend have been found in a library.

Seven hand-written fragments were found by the University of Bristol's special collections librarian.

Specialists analysing the pieces said they contained "subtle but significant" differences from the traditional story.

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Centuries lost ‘Bristol Merlin’ uncovered at city’s Central Library

Press release (Bristol University, 30/01/2019)

Academics from the Universities of Bristol and Durham are now analysing the seven parchment fragments which are thought to come from the Old French sequence of texts known as the Vulgate Cycle or Lancelot-Grail Cycle, dating back to the 13th century.

Parts of the Vulgate Cycle were probably used by Sir Thomas Malory (1415-1471) as a source for his Le Morte D’Arthur (published in 1485 by William Caxton) which is itself the main source text for many modern retellings of the Arthurian legend in English, but no one version known so far has proven to be exactly alike with what he appears to have used.

In addition, one of the most exciting elements of this particular find is that the Bristol fragments contain evidence of subtle, but significant, differences from the traditional narrative of the stories.  

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