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Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100—1155) bishop of St Asaph and historian

Arthurian Literature

Middle English



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(fl. late 12th cent.),

according to his own testimony a priest of Ernley (Arley Regis in Worcestershire), he wrote the Brut, a history of England from the arrival of the legendary Brutus to Cadwallader (ad 689), based mostly on Wace's French version of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae with additions from other sources. The Brut gives for the first time in English not only the story of Arthur but also those of Lear, Cymbeline, and other figures prominent in later English literature. The poem employs some of the epic formulas and other stylistic features of Old English, which contribute to the poem's energy and vigour. It is in some ways a transitional work, and one of the earliest major works in Middle English. See Brut.

Subjects: Literature.

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