A brilliant new anthology that shows how fiction was reinvented in the twelfth century after an absence of hundreds of years.
Before the twelfth century, fiction had completely disappeared in Europe. In this important and provocative book, Laura Ashe shows how English writers brought it back, composing new tales about King Arthur, his knights, and other heroes and heroines in Latin, French, and English. Why did fiction disappear, and why did it come to life again, to establish itself as our dominant form of literature ever since? And what do we even mean by the term “fiction”? Gathering extracts from the most important texts of the period, by Wace, Marie de France, Chaucer, and others, this volume offers an absorbing and surprising introduction to the earliest English fiction.