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Sir Tristram,
King of Lyonesse

Arthurian Literary Character

Sir Tristram was the son of King Meliodas & Queen Isabelle of Lyonesse, the land around the Scilly Isles now lost beneath the sea. He was educated in France; faught for his uncle, King Mark, against the King of Ireland's champion & defeated him; travelled incognito to Ireland to have his wounds healed; became friendly with the King's daughter Isolde; was forced to return to Cornwall when his identity was discovered; fell out with his uncle over an affair with the wife of Sir Segwarides; spent some time at King Arthur's court; was obliged to travel again to Ireland to gain Isolde's hand in marriage to Mark; accidentally drank love potions meant for Mark & Isolde; became Isolde's lover despite her marriage to his uncle (and had four children); left for Brittany when things became too hairy; married Sir Howel, the King of Brittany's daughter, also Isolde; got wounded in a fight; sent for his old lover to cure him; being told by his wife that she had refused to come, he died; Isolde committed suicide and the two were buried together.

In reality, he seems to have been an historical Prince of Dumnonia (Cornwall/Devon/Somerset),  apparently the son rather than the nephew of King Cunomor alias Mark. Though Cornwall may once have been joined to the Scilly Isles, this was long before Tristram's time; so, unfortunately, his Kingdom of Lyonesse, almost certainly never existed.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.