The Matter of Britain

   The term "Matter of Britain" is a play-on-words on the term "Matter of France," which was the story of Charlemagne, mainly the Song of Roland. This term was in widespread use at the time when the French romances about Arthur were being written. Since the Charlemagne stories were about the beginnings of France, and the Arthurian stories were about the beginnings of England, the analogy was an obvious one at the time. Eleanor of Aquitaine made both terms popular because she used the stories to strengthen the positions of each of her husbands by stressing their respective illustrious "ancestors." Arthur and his court have grown beyond just being a matter of Britain. His myth has captivated the world and is one of the most published and discussed legends of the ages.