A Brief Overview of Layamon
, fl. c.1200, first prominent
Middle English poet. He described himself as a humble priest attached to the church at Ernley (Arley Regis) near Radstone.
is a chronicle in 32,341 short lines on the history of Britain, from the fall of Troy to the arrival of Brutus
in Britain and continuing through the death of Cadwaladr. Layamon freely adapted the Brut
of Wace and added material
from other sources. His Anglo-Saxon narrative meter foreshadows the Middle English metrical system. This chronicle, important
in the development of the Arthurian legend
, gives one of the finest renderings of King Arthur as a national hero. It also contains the first mention of Lear
See his Brut, ed. by G. L. Brook and R. F. Leslie (1963).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004, Columbia University Press.
from Columbia University Press