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courtly manners

The legends of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table are a highpoint of courtly literature. Chivalrous knights go on perilous quests in defense of their ladies' honor. Very romantic, right?

Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table

Not quite so in the original 'Le Morte D'Arthur' by Sir Thomas Malory (1485), where King Arthur hardly displays any courtly manners to this damsel in distress:

Right so anon came in a lady on a white palfrey, and cried aloud to King Arthur, 'Sir, suffer me not to have this despite, for the brachet [bitch-hound] was mine that the knight led away.'

'I may not do therewith,' said the king.

With this there came a knight riding all armed on a great horse, and took the lady away with him with force, and ever she cried and made great dole. When she was gone the king was glad, for she made such a noise.

(Luckily, Merlin then steps in and rights the matter. No less than three knights are sent to her rescue...)


just fire no works

The new year's bonfire in Scheveningen, a roaring inferno that made the surrounding fireworks seem puny and pointless - like carrying water to the sea. This is the bonfire on the north beach, in… Read the full post »

two comments

brnrd - i hope you'll excuse me for not joining in the celebration of this book's 520th birthday -> which newsletter do you subcribe to!?

jorrit , 22-01-’05 18:41

well, believe it or not, i'm actually ploughing thru the whole thing. good stuff once you give it a chance... - should i post some more?

bv , 22-01-’05 21:48

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