Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tristram, or TRISTAN, the hero of a Celtic romance, the first extant relic of which dates from the middle of the 12th century. Tristram, a minstrel and nephew of Mark of Cornwall, having been sorely wounded in a combat, is cured by the fair Ysonde or Yseult, daughter of the King of Ireland. Mark, hearing his account of her beauty, sends him to bring her to Cornwall to be his bride, which she becomes. On their way, however, both Tristram and Ysonde had drunk of a love potion, so that their hearts were united for life. Tristram, although afterwards he marries Yseult of Brittany, sends for his old love when he is once again wounded, but dies before her arrival. King Mark, learning their story, buries them in one grave, over which grew, intertwined, a rosebush and a vine, The chief mediaeval forms of the story are contained in the German Tristrant of Eilhard of Oberge and the Tristan und Isolde of Gottfried of Strasburg, the English poem Tristrem (about 1300), and the Norse Tristrams Saga ok Isondar. Malory also embodied it in the Morte d'Arthur. Italian and Spanish versions appeared in the 16th century, and in more recent days the subject has been again treated by Wagner, Matthew Arnold, and Mr. Swinburne, among others, and by Tennyson in the Idylls of the King.