Eugène Vinaver

Eugène Vinaver (Russian: Евгений Максимович Винавер Yevgeniĭ Maksimovich Vinaver, 18 June 1899 – 21 July 1979) was a Russian-born British literary scholar who is best known today for his edition of the works of Sir Thomas Malory.

Early life

Vinaver was born in Saint-Petersburg, the son of Jewish-Russian lawyer, national politician,[1] and Jewish community leader[2] Maxim Vinaver, who emigrated to France in 1919.[3]

Eugene Vinaver studied in École pratique des hautes études where he was a pupil of Joseph Bédier.

Life in England

From the late 1920s, he lived in England (one of his teachers was Mildred Pope[4]) and in 1933 he was appointed Professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Manchester. He received his doctorate from Oxford University in 1950.

In 1928, Eugene Vinaver founded in Oxford the Arthurian society, which published two volumes under the title Arthuriana (1929, 1930). This society was renamed Society for the study of the medieval languages and literatures. Arthuriana became Medium Aevum. In 1948, the International Arthurian Society was organized by Eugène Vinaver and Jean Frappier.

In 1947, Eugène Vinaver published a new edition of Malory's Morte d'Arthur, based on the 15th century Winchester Manuscript which W.F. Oakeshott had discovered in the Fellows' Library at Winchester College in 1934. He noted the structural differences between the text in the manuscript and Caxton's edition of Morte d'Arthur, such as chapter headings and divisions, and wording changes.

In addition to his interest in Arthurian legend, Vinaver was also a recognised authority on Racine and Flaubert.

Vinaver was a correspondent member of the British Academy, laureate of the French Academy of Sciences, and the Medieval Academy of America, a foreign member of Académie royale de langue et de littérature française of Belgium. He was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor.

Selected works

  • Form and Meaning in Medieval Romance, 1966
  • À la recherche d'une poétique médiévale, 1970
  • The Rise of Romance, 1971


  1. ^ Sophie Dubnov-Erlich (1991). The Life and Work of S.M. Dubnov: Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish History. The Modern Jewish Experience. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-253-31836-7. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  2. ^ Robert M. Seltzer (2013). Simon Dubnow's New Judaism: Diaspora Nationalism and the World History of the Jews. Supplements to the Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy (Book 21). Leiden: Brill Academic Pub. p. 140. ISBN 9789004260528. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  3. ^ David Bradby (1993). The Theater of Michel Vinaver. Theater: Theory/Text/Performance. University of Michigan Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-472-10326-3. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Elspeth (2005). "Mildred K. Pope (1872–1956): Anglo-Norman Scholar". In Jane Chance (ed.). Women medievalists and the academy. Madison: U of Wisconsin Press. pp. 147–56. ISBN 978-0-299-20750-2.

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