The Story Of Tristan And Iseult
In the legends, Iseult was the daughter of the Queen of Ireland. She and Tristan first meet when he is injured fighting the forces of her uncle, Morholt (one of the knights of the round table). Iseult heals the wounded Tristan, unaware of his true identity. When his lineage is revealed, Tristan flees back to his uncle’s lands to continue to serve under him. When the King later sends Tristan back to Ireland to fetch Iseult to be his bride, things go awry. The conflict between light and dark depicted in the Tristan Ring is mirrored when on their journey home, they inadvertently consume a love potion and fall hopelessly in love.
Versions Of The Legend
Thomas of Britain (of whom little is known for certain) wrote what has become the canonical, early version of this tale in Old French some time in the 12th-century. Only eight fragments, amounting to about three thousand words remain of this version, which is estimated to originally have comprised of eighteen to twenty thousand words. This early version was also written, in what has become known as its vulgar form (Thomas’ being the courtly version) by Béroul, another Norman or Breton poet writing in the 12th-century. The later versions come from the Prose Tristan, where it was adapted into a prose romance, filled with high adventure and wonder. Both versions of the tale contain the kind of contrast between light and darkness portrayed on the Tristan Ring.
Wagner’s Tristan Ring
Richard Wagner’s opera production beginning in 1865 has as much to do with this tale’s place in the popular consciousness as the 12th-century tale. Wagner insisted it was not an opera but was, in fact, a drama.
Want more accessories? Check out our complete Medieval Jewelry collection.
Material: Tristan Ring is made from Carbon Fibre