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LYONESSE is a country in Arthurian legend
Arthurian legend
, particularly in the story of Tristan and Iseult
Tristan and Iseult
. Said to border Cornwall
Cornwall
, it is most notable as the home of the hero Tristan
Tristan
, whose father was king. In later traditions Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is said to have sunk beneath the waves some time after the Tristan
Tristan
stories take place, making it similar to Ys and other lost lands in medieval Celtic tales, and perhaps connecting it with the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Lyonesse
Lyonesse
in Arthurian legend
Arthurian legend
* 2 Analogues in Celtic mythology
Celtic mythology
* 3 Lyonesse
Lyonesse
in modern English literature * 4 Lyonesse
Lyonesse
in Cornish literature
Cornish literature
* 5 Other uses of Lyonesse
Lyonesse
* 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References

LYONESSE IN ARTHURIAN LEGEND

In medieval Arthurian
Arthurian
legend, there are no references to the sinking of Lyonesse, because the name originally referred to a still-existing place. Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is an English alteration of French Léoneis or Léonois (earlier Loönois), a development of Lodonesia, the Latin name for Lothian
Lothian
in Scotland. Continental writers of Arthurian romances were often puzzled by the internal geography of Great Britain; thus it is that the author French Prose Tristan
Tristan
appears to place Léonois contiguous, by land, to Cornwall. In English adaptations of the French tales, Léonois, now "Lyonesse", becomes a kingdom wholly distinct from Lothian, and closely associated with the Cornish region, though its exact geographical location remained unspecified. The name was not attached to Cornish legends of lost coastal lands until the reign of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
, however. However, the legendary lost land between Land's End and Scilly has a distinct Cornish name: Lethowsow. This derives from the Cornish name for the Seven Stones reef, on the reputed site of the lost land's capital and the site of the notorious wreck of the Torrey Canyon . The name means "the milky ones", from the constant white water surrounding the reef.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
's Arthurian
Arthurian
epic Idylls of the King
Idylls of the King
describes Lyonesse
Lyonesse
as the site of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred
Mordred
. One passage in particular references legends of Lyonesse
Lyonesse
as a land fated to sink beneath the ocean:

Then rose the King and moved his host by night And ever pushed Sir Mordred, league by league, Back to the sunset bound of Lyonesse— A land of old upheaven from the abyss By fire, to sink into the abyss again; Where fragments of forgotten peoples dwelt, And the long mountains ended in a coast Of ever-shifting sand, and far away The phantom circle of a moaning sea.

Deriving from a false etymology of Lyonesse, the 'City of Lions' was said in some later traditions to be the capital of the legendary kingdom, situated on what is today the Seven Stones reef , some eighteen miles west of Land's End and eight miles north-east of the Isles of Scilly.

ANALOGUES IN CELTIC MYTHOLOGY

The legend of a sunken kingdom appears in both Cornish and Breton mythology. In Christian times it came to be viewed as a sort of Cornish Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah
, an example of divine wrath provoked by unvirtuous living, although the parallels were limited in that Lyonesse
Lyonesse
remained in Cornish thought very much a mystical and mythical land, comparable to the role of Tir na nÓg
Tir na nÓg
in Irish mythology
Irish mythology
.

There is a Breton parallel in the tale of the Cité d'Ys , similarly drowned as a result of its debauchery with a single virtuous survivor escaping on a horse, in this case King Gradlon . The Welsh equivalent to Lyonesse
Lyonesse
and Ker Ys is Cantre\'r Gwaelod , a legendary drowned kingdom in Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay
.

It is often suggested that the tale of Lyonesse
Lyonesse
represents an extraordinary survival of folk memory of the flooding of the Isles of Scilly and Mount\'s Bay near Penzance. For example, the Cornish name of St Michael\'s Mount is Karrek Loos y'n Koos - literally, "the grey rock in the wood". Cornish people
Cornish people
around Penzance still get occasional glimpses at extreme low water of a sunken forest in Mount's Bay, where petrified tree stumps become visible. The importance of the maintenance of this memory can be seen in that it came to be associated with the legendary British hero Arthur, although the date of its inundation is actually c.2500 BC.

LYONESSE IN MODERN ENGLISH LITERATURE

Walter de la Mare
Walter de la Mare
's "Sunk Lyonesse" (1922) evokes it as a lost world:

In sea-cold Lyonesse, When the Sabbath eve shafts down On the roofs, walls, belfries Of the foundered town, The Nereids pluck their lyres Where the green translucency beats, And with motionless eyes at gaze Make ministrely in the streets./ And the ocean water stirs In salt-worn casement and porch Plies the blunt-nosed fish With fire in his skull for torch. And the ringing wires resound; And the unearthly lovely weep, In lament of the music they make In the sullen courts of sleep: Whose marble flowers bloom for aye: And—lapped by the moon-guiled tide— Mock their carver with heart of stone, Caged in his stone-ribbed side.

Lyonesse
Lyonesse
has been used as a setting for many modern fantasy stories, including:

* Jack Vance
Jack Vance
's Lyonesse
Lyonesse
trilogy * Lyonesse
Lyonesse
makes a small appearance in Gordon R. Dickson
Gordon R. Dickson
's The Dragon and the Gnarly King , the seventh book in the Dragon Knight series, and features much more prominently in The Dragon in Lyonesse , the eighth book. * In Stephen R. Lawhead 's Pendragon Cycle , Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is where refugees from Atlantis
Atlantis
(the "Fair Folk ") settle, the word Lyonesse being derived from the Celtic corruption of the word Atlantis. * In the film First Knight , Lyonnesse is the home of Guinevere
Guinevere
, a small land situated between Camelot
Camelot
and Malagant 's territory. Lyonesse
Lyonesse
was ruled by Guinevere's father until his death, after which Guinevere
Guinevere
became the "Lady of Lyonesse". * The Trevelyan family of Cornwall
Cornwall
takes its coat of arms from a local legend, in which a man named Trevelyan escaped the inundation by riding a white horse. To this day the family's shield bears a white horse rising from the waves.. Based on the above, in Cornish author Craig Weatherhill's The Lyonesse
Lyonesse
Stone trilogy (The Lyonesse
Lyonesse
Stone, Seat of Storms, and The Tinners' Way), the Trevelyan family, drawn into the worlds of ancient Cornish legend, are direct descendants of the Lyonesse
Lyonesse
flood survivor. * The Vyvyan family
Vyvyan family
of Cornwall
Cornwall
also takes its coat of arms from the legend, in which a man named Vyvyan, governor of Lyonesse, escaped the inundation by having ready bridled and saddled in his stable a white horse. To this day the family's shield bears a white horse fully bridled with one foot over the waves. The horse leapt, with Vyvyan aboard, and where it landed, there the Vyvyan family
Vyvyan family
set its roots. (Trelowarren) * Both Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
and Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath
published poems referring to Lyonnesse, the latter taking the mythical land's name as its title. English composer Gerald Finzi set the Hardy poem, "When I Set Out for Lyonnesse", to music in his song cycle Earth and Air and Rain (published 1936). * Sam Llewellyn wrote two children's books set in the sinking Lyonesse, with original Celtic names for the cast of Arthurian
Arthurian
legend: Lyonesse: The Well Between The Worlds (2009) and Lyonesse: Dark Solstice (2010). * "Lyonesse" is a song, by Cornish folk composer Richard Gendall , which appears as the title track of the 1982 album by Brenda Wootton
Brenda Wootton
. * In Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
's Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited
, the narrator describes the Oxford
Oxford
of his youth as being "submerged now and obliterated, irrecoverable as Lyonnesse, so quickly have the waters come flooding in..." * In the PC game Dark Age of Camelot
Camelot
, Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is a partially inundated zone at one end of the land of Albion, filled with ruins and dangerous monsters, many of them undead.

LYONESSE IN CORNISH LITERATURE

See also: Cornish literature
Cornish literature

* Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is featured heavily in the 2009 novel Jowal Lethesow (The Lyonesse
Lyonesse
Stone) by Craig Weatherhill.

OTHER USES OF LYONESSE

The name Lyonesse
Lyonesse
has often been applied to transport subjects:

* Lyonesse: West Cornwall
Cornwall
Steam Ship Company steam ferry * Lyonesse: Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
Bulldog Class steam locomotive no. 3361 * Lyonnesse: Southern Railway (Great Britain)
Southern Railway (Great Britain)
King Arthur
King Arthur
Class steam locomotive no. 743 * Lyonnesse: British Railways
British Railways
Standard Class 5 steam locomotive no. 73113

Lyonesse
Lyonesse
is also the name of one of the three school houses at Cape Cornwall
Cornwall
School .

SEE ALSO

* Cornish culture
Cornish culture
* Gallia Lugdunensis
Gallia Lugdunensis
* Matter of Britain
Matter of Britain
* St Michael\'s Mount * Ys * Where Troy Once Stood
Where Troy Once Stood

NOTES

* ^ Bivar, A. D. H. (February 1953). "Lyonnesse: The Evolution of a Fable". Modern Philology. 50 (3): 162–170. doi :10.1086/388954 . * ^ James, Beryl (1988). Tales of the Tinners' Way. Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. ISBN 1-85022-042-5 . p. 2. * ^ Hind, C. Lewis. (1907). "Days in Cornwall": 163.

REFERENCES

* Eilhart von Oberge (c. 1180) Tristant * Anonymous (c. 1220) Prose Tristan
Tristan
* Anonymous (c. 1335) La Tavola Ritonda * Malory, Sir Thomas (1470) Le Morte D\'Arthur * Anonymous (1555) I Due Tristani * Tennyson, Alfred Lord (1886) Idylls of the King
Idylls of the King

* v * t * e

Culture of Cornwall
Cornwall

Cornish : GONISOGETH KERNOW

SYMBOLS

* Celtic cross
Celtic cross
* Cornish chough * Cornish heath * Cornish kilts and tartans
Cornish kilts and tartans
* Jonathan Trelawny * Michael An Gof
Michael An Gof
* Saint Piran
Saint Piran
* Saint Piran\'s Flag

FESTIVALS

* AberFest * Allantide
Allantide
* Chewidden Thursday * Furry Dance
Furry Dance
* Golowan * Guldize * Kernewek Lowender
Kernewek Lowender
* Montol Festival * Mummer\'s Day * Nickanan Night
Nickanan Night
* Noze looan * \'Obby \'Oss * Picrous Day * St Piran\'s Day * Tom Bawcock\'s Eve

SPORTS

* Cornish hurling
Cornish hurling
* Cornish pilot-gig racing * Cornish wrestling
Cornish wrestling
* Rugby union in Cornwall
Cornwall

CUISINE

* Cornish Cider * Cloam oven * Clotted cream
Clotted cream
* Cornish cheeses * Cornish cream tea * Cornish fairings
Cornish fairings
* Cornish Gilliflower
Cornish Gilliflower
* Hevva cake * Hog\'s pudding * Pasty
Pasty
* Saffron bun
Saffron bun
* Stargazy pie
Stargazy pie
* Cornish Yarg
Cornish Yarg

ARTS

* List of Cornish writers * Tristan and Iseult
Tristan and Iseult
* Cornwall
Cornwall
Film Festival * Tate St Ives
Tate St Ives
* St Ives School
St Ives School
* W. J. Burley * Charles Causley
Charles Causley
* Newlyn School
Newlyn School
* Barbara Hepworth
Barbara Hepworth
* Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier
* William Golding
William Golding
* Alan Kent * H. C. McNeile * Rosamunde Pilcher * Derek Tangye * D. M. Thomas * Minack Theatre
Minack Theatre
* The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance

MUSIC

* Cornish bagpipes * Brenda Wootton
Brenda Wootton
* Fisherman\'s Friends * Crowns

FOLK SONGS

* " Bro Goth agan Tasow
Bro Goth agan Tasow
" * " Camborne Hill " * " Come, all ye jolly tinner boys
Come, all ye jolly tinner boys
" * " Delkiow Sivy " * " Hail to the Homeland " * " The Song of the Western Men
The Song of the Western Men
"

LANGUAGE

* Anglo-Cornish
Anglo-Cornish
* Cornish literature
Cornish literature
* Ordinalia
Ordinalia
* Beunans Meriasek * Bewnans Ke * Prayer Book Rebellion
Prayer Book Rebellion
* Radyo an Gernewegva
Radyo an Gernewegva

MYTHOLOGY

* Beast of Bodmin * Blunderbore * Bucca * Cruel Coppinger * Knocker * King Arthur
King Arthur
* Lyonesse * Mermaid of Zennor
Mermaid of Zennor
* Owlman
Owlman
* Piskie

ORGANISATIONS

* Federation of Old Cornwall
Cornwall
Societies * Gorsedh Kernow
Gorsedh Kernow
* Institute of Cornish Studies
Institute of Cornish Studies
* Royal Cornwall
Cornwall
Polytechnic Society * Royal Institution of Cornwall
Cornwall
* Movyans Skolyow Meythrin

CORNWALL PORTAL

* v * t * e

King Arthur
King Arthur
and the Matter of Britain
Matter of Britain

KEY PEOPLE

* King Arthur
King Arthur
* Constantine * Sir Ector
Sir Ector
* Gawain
Gawain
* Gorlois * Queen Guinevere
Guinevere
* Igraine
Igraine
* Iseult
Iseult
* Lady of the Lake
Lady of the Lake
* Lancelot
Lancelot
* King Lot * King Mark * Merlin
Merlin
* Mordred
Mordred
* Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay
* Morgause * Percival
Percival
* Tristan
Tristan
* Uther Pendragon
Uther Pendragon

Knights of the Round Table
Round Table

* Aglovale * Agravain * Bagdemagus * Bedivere
Bedivere
* Bors
Bors
* Breunor (La Cote Mal Taillée) * Calogrenant * Caradoc
Caradoc
* Dagonet * Dinadan * Elyan the White * Erec * Gaheris * Galahad
Galahad
* Gareth
Gareth
* Geraint
Geraint
* Griflet * Hector de Maris * Hoel
Hoel
* Kay * Lamorak * Leodegrance
Leodegrance
* Lionel * Lucan * Maleagant * Morholt * Palamedes * Pelleas
Pelleas
* Pellinore
Pellinore
* Safir * Sagramore * Segwarides * Tor * Urien
Urien
* Ywain
Ywain
* Ywain
Ywain
the Bastard

OTHER CHARACTERS

* Sir Balin * Sir Balan * King Ban * Claudas * Culhwch
Culhwch
* Dindrane
Dindrane
* Elaine of Astolat
Elaine of Astolat
* Elaine of Corbenic * Fisher King * Galehaut * Hellawes * Black Knight * Green Knight
Green Knight
* Red Knight * Lohengrin
Lohengrin
* Emperor Lucius * Olwen * Questing Beast
Questing Beast
* Rience * Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb

OBJECTS

* Excalibur
Excalibur
* Holy Grail
Holy Grail
* Round Table
Round Table
* Siege Perilous

PLACES

* Astolat
Astolat
* Avalon
Avalon
* Brocéliande
Brocéliande
(Paimpont ) * Caerleon
Caerleon
* Camelot
Camelot
* Celliwig * Corbenic
Corbenic
* Glastonbury
Glastonbury
* Logres * Lyonesse * Sarras * Tintagel
Tintagel

IN MEDIA

* Books * Films * Various media

TOPICS

* Battle of Badon * Battle of Camlann
Battle of Camlann
* Dolorous Stroke * King Arthur\'s family * Historicity of King Arthur
King Arthur
* King Arthur\'s messianic return

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