Eugène Vinaver (born Russian: Евгений Максимович Винавер Yevgeniĭ Maksimovich Vinaver, 18 June 1899 – 21 July 1979) was a literary scholar who is best known today for his edition of the works of Sir Thomas Malory.
Vinaver was born in Saint-Petersburg, the son of Russian lawyer and politician, Maxim Vinaver, who emigrated to France in 1919. Eugene Vinaver studied in École pratique des hautes études where he was a pupil of Joseph Bedier. From the late 1920s, he lived in England (one of his teachers was Mildred Pope)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.
Vinaver was a correspondent member of the British Academy and the Medieval Academy of America, a foreign member of Académie royale de langue et de littérature française of Belgium.
- Form and Meaning in Medieval Romance, 1966
- À la recherche d'une poétique médiévale, 1970
- The Rise of Romance, 1971
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