A Tableful of Texts
Here are a few of the texts that served both inspirationally and informatively. The one at top-left was fascinating in how it tracked prototypes and archetypes across a range of early medieval sources and analogues. The one on top of Lady Charlotte Guest's The Mabinogion was something of a curiosity, obsessively delving back into pre-Celtic mythic structures to entirely recast the origins of the Gawain story. I read this long after I'd already structured Sir Gawain and the Green Maiden. Strange how synchronicity works. The book at bottom-left is my own childhood copy of Roger Lancelyn Green's telling of the Arthur stories. I treasure this copy for its illustrations (as well as the fact that it was my first literary encounter with the material). The illustrations are by Lotte Reiniger, who isn't credited anywhere that I can find in this old Puffin paperback. They look like woodcuts, but are actually paper cut-outs. Reiniger used the same method to create the first full-length animated feature film in 1926. Black and white silhouettes all the way. Here are a few. Arthur dubbing a knight, Gawain and the Lady Ragnell, Lancelot and Guinevere.
And here are fair maidens discovering Lancelot in the wilderness. Imagine the scissor-work!
Here is the cover spread. The same technique with tinting suggests stained glass.