The Alliterative Morte Arthure

History

The author of the poem is unknown. In his history of Scotland, Andrew of Wyntoun mentions a poet called Huchoun ("little Hugh"), who he says made a "gret Gest of Arthure, / And þe Awntyr of Gawane, / Þe Pistil als of Suet Susane" [great history of Arthur, / And the Adventure of Gawain, / The Epistle also of Sweet Susan]. This "Gest of Arthure" has been claimed to be a reference to what is now known as the Alliterative Morte Arthure; but the fact that the Morte Arthure seems to have been written in an East Midlands dialect, the fact that Huchoun may have been Scottish, and the dialect of the extant Epistle of Sweet Susan,[1] which appears to be that of North Yorkshire, all argue against "Huchoun"'s authorship.

The only manuscript source for the Morte Arthure is the Lincoln Thornton Manuscript written sometime in the mid-15th century by Robert Thornton, who copied an older text, now lost, which presumably derived from south-west Lincolnshire.[2]


This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.