Excerpt from The Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances, Vol. 1: Edited From Manuscripts in the British Museum; Lestoire Del Saint Graal
Syr Lancelot, the title-hero of the huge romance of that name, has no prototype in Celtic literature. The only incident in his life whic... h is indirectly derived from the matiere de Bretagne is his bringing up by a fairy. The Lance lot is out and out the conception and creation of a French brain, as also is its hero's association with King Arthur's Queen. Syr Lancelot is a Frenchman by birth and education, the ideal type of the French knight of the twelfth century, with all his most brilliant qualities and faults; he was deliberately designed to usurp - and has usurped - the place of the Celtic or British hero Syr Gawain, who had until then been unanimously acclaimed the best knight in the world, the foremost of the companions of Arthur's celebrated Round Table. The later substitution of Perceval by Galahad, the son of Lancelot, was but the natural development of this usurpation. It was due to the same tendency to replace the Celtic protagonist by a French one. As Lancelot was himself disqualified, by his sinful association with Guenever, to take Perceval's place, he was given a son who had inherited all the great qualities but not the failings of his father. Whatever may have been the attitude of individual members of the Church towards the growth and development of the Arthurian romances, there is no reason to doubt that the Church officially looked upon them as harmless and with benevolent neutrality.
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