Libeaus Desconus  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Libeaus Desconus is a 14th century Middle English version of the popular "Fair Unknown" story. Its author is thought to be Thomas Chestre. The story matter displays strong parallels to that of Renaut de Beaujeu's Le Bel Inconnu; both versions describe the adventures of Gingalain, the son of King Arthur's knight Gawain and a fay who raises him ignorant of his parentage and his name. As a young man, he visits Arthur's court to be knighted, and receives his nickname; in this case Sir Libeaus Desconus, before setting forth on a series of adventures which consolidate his new position in society. He eventually discovers who is his father, and marries a powerful lady.

Other versions of the story include the Middle High German romance Wigalois (1204–1209) by Wirnt von Gravenberc. The "Fair Unknown" story has parallels in the tale of La Cote Male Taile, Chrétien de Troyes' Conte du Graal, Sir Thomas Malory's Tale of Sir Gareth from Le Morte d'Arthur, and the 14th century Italian epic Carduino.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Libeaus Desconus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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