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The <I>Continuations</I> of Chrétien's <I>Perceval</I>


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The notion of Continuation in medieval literature is a familiar one - but difficult to define precisely. Despite the existence of important texts which are commonly referred to as Continuations, such as Le Roman de la Rose, Le Chevalier de la Charrette and, of course, the Perceval Continuations, the mechanics and processes involved in actually producing a Continuation have found themselves indistinguishable from those associated with other forms of medieval réécriture.
The Perceval Continuations (composed c.1200-1230) constitute a vast body of material which incorporates four separately authored Continuations, each of which seeks to further, in some way, the unfinished Perceval of Chrétien de Troyes - though they are not merely responses to his work. Chronologically, they were composed one after the other, and the next in line picks up where the previous one left off; they thus respond intertextually to each other as well as to Chrétien, and only one actually furnishes the story as a whole with an ending. Here, these fascinating texts are used as a lens for examining, defining and distinguishing the whole concept of a Continuation; the author also employs theories as to what constitutes an "end" and what is "unfinished", alongside scrutiny of other medieval "ends" and Continuations.

Dr Leah Tether is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Cultures of the Digital Economy Institute, Anglia Ruskin University.


Tether's approach to her material is characterized by critical and scientific rigor, her theories and conclusions are lucid and generally measured, and her notes, figures, and graphics will be serviceable to readers at various stages of familiarity with the material. ARTHURIANA

Tether succeeds in broadening her analysis not only to all the corners of this chunky set of literary works, but beyond to an extensive, important, and still improperly understood aspect of medieval textual practice. SPECULUM

Offers new insights into understanding this fascinating corpus as well as the tools for analysing medieval Continuations more generally. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

[This] is a lively and stimulating book that will be of interest to those studying the workings of medieval (and indeed modern) narratives. [...] Tether is to be saluted for placing these fascinating texts at the heart of her inquiry into medieval textuality. FRENCH STUDIES


First Published: 21 Jun 2012
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843843160
Pages: 256
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Details updated on 30 Mar 2016


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  Authorial Changeovers in the Manuscripts
  • 3  Distinguishing Continuations, Sequels and Ends
  • 4  The First Continuation and Prolongation
  • 5  The Second Continuation and the Imitative Mode
  • 6  The Gerbert and Manessier Continuations: Interpolation vs. Conclusion
  • 7  Conclusion
  • 8  Appendix I: Keys to the Tables
  • 9  Appendix II: Table 1 - Contents of the Manuscript
  • 10  Appendix III: Table 2 - Changeovers Shown by the Manuscripts
  • 11  Appendix IV: Listing of the Episodes in the Continuations
  • 12  Appendix V: Plot Summary of Chrétien's Perceval
  • 13  Appendix VI: Plot Summary of Section I, Episode 1-5: First Continuation
  • 14  Appendix VII: Plot Summary of the First Continuation's Carados Section
  • 15  Appendix VIII: Transcription of the Independent Conclusion
  • 16  Bibliography

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