We arrived early before the crowds gathered, passing over the narrow path to Tintagel island on which the castle was founded. The servants bustled to make ready for entertaining. Tristan went to find the knight’s liege and to demand payment from him. He kept the knight’s armor and horse to ensure he would not fight. Some knights had already arrived and were clustered in tents by team, indicated by the shields they displayed outside. Merchants were beginning to set up their goods for sale in tents, and the patches of color embellished the field. Isolde and I watched from a window high above the festivities starting to unfurl. The painting made up of all the elements, human and otherwise, so small from afar, was my favorite part. I disliked the tournaments themselves for they were gruesome blood baths and knights tended to go too far in their merrymaking and showing off their skills, sometimes at the cost of the young knights or others they could bully. Tristan kept an eye out for such knights to keep them in line. He did not want Isolde or me to help heal the wounded. The surgeons would be on hand, and we would watch safely from the stands. But no fighting could take place until after Vespers tonight in the chapel. And the queen and I would not leave until the morning, escorted by Tristan and the king to the sidelines of the battlefield to keep the company of women enthralled by the spirit of the day. The clamor of voices would rise like the roar of a storm with knights, heralds, merchants, and the spectators all striving to be heard.
Published by Meara Dietrich
Hello, welcome to my blog! I hold an MA in French Literature, and my master's thesis reflected on the realistic aspect of female servants in French literature, one of whom was Brangien, lady-in-waiting to Isolde. The Tristan and Isolde "story" first intrigued me in my undergraduate medieval French literature class and stayed with me. As I developed my graduate thesis, studying the modern French translations of the Tristan and Isolde texts, the latter mostly from the 12th century, I extrapolated what I could from the scant information about Brangien. This felt meaningful yet also dissatisfying. I hunger to know more about Brangien, and since I enjoy creative pursuits, I am currently writing a novella in order to try to answer my own questions. This blog is one way to explore who she could be. I will try to remain true to what I learn(ed) from the Tristan and Isolde texts and to my vision of Brangien (i.e. embellishments will not be found in the original texts), as well as medieval history, as an art, not a science. I am also a knitter so you may see the crafting bug manifest. Please feel free to leave a comment if you like. Thanks! View all posts by Meara Dietrich