Chapter

The Plantagenet Court and the World of King Arthur

Jean Flori and Olive Classe

in Eleanor of Aquitaine

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780748622955
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651382 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622955.003.0015
The Plantagenet Court and the World of King Arthur

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The extraordinary success enjoyed by Arthurian romance in Plantagenet domains has led most historians and specialists in twelfth-century literature to see it as part of a propaganda exercise orchestrated by the dynasty itself. Today, there is a tendency to accept the idea in a more tempered form; people prefer to talk about ‘diffused’ propaganda' for the Plantagenet ideology. Thanks to the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's work, the Historia regum Britanniae, the prestige of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere rubbed off onto Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose ancestors they were taken to be now that the court of King Arthur had been ascribed historical status. This chapter states with some confidence that the Plantagenet court adopted the Arthurian one and made it its own by assimilation, for a variety of ideological motives.

Keywords: Arthurian romance; Plantagenet; Geoffrey of Monmouth; King Arthur; Queen Guinevere; Henry II; Eleanor of Aquitaine

Chapter.  9289 words. 

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