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1 - Story, author, context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Mark Chinca
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

The story

(1) Gottfried's narrative begins with Tristan's parents, Riwalin, the lord of Parmenie, and Blanscheflur, the sister of King Mark of Cornwall. They fall in love while Riwalin is perfecting his chivalry at Mark's court; she becomes pregnant and elopes with him to Parmenie, where they marry. Riwalin is killed in a war with his old enemy Duke Morgan; grief-stricken, Blanscheflur gives birth to a son and dies. (245–1790)

(2) The orphan is adopted by Riwalin's marshal, Rual, and his wife Floraete. In order to protect Riwalin's heir from Morgan's violence, they give out that the child is their own; they baptize him Tristan. The boy receives training in all the accomplishments that make the perfect knight and courtier. Fourteen years old, he is kidnapped by Norwegian merchants and eventually released in Cornwall. Thanks to his skills as huntsman, musician and linguist, he wins the favour of King Mark and his court, pretending all the while to be the son of a merchant from Parmenie. The pretence ends when Rual, who has been searching for his foster-son for over three years, turns up in Cornwall and reveals to Mark and Tristan that they are uncle and nephew. The king accepts Tristan as legitimate kin, and dubs him a knight. (1791–5068)

(3) Tristan goes home to Parmenie as Riwalin's successor. He enfeoffs his vassals, avenges his father's death by killing Morgan, and knights Rual's sons along with several others, including his tutor and loyal friend Curvenal.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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  • Story, author, context
  • Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Gottfried von Strassburg: Tristan
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166447.003
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  • Story, author, context
  • Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Gottfried von Strassburg: Tristan
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166447.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Story, author, context
  • Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Gottfried von Strassburg: Tristan
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166447.003
Available formats
×