The Bridal of Triermain

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First edition title page

The Bridal of Triermain is a rhymed, romantic, narrative-poem by Sir Walter Scott, written in 1813.[1]

The poem celebrates the exploits of a knight errant - Sir Roland De Vaux - as he seeks to rescue (and hopefully espouse) a beautiful maiden, Gyneth. Gyneth is the illegitimate daughter of King Arthur: doomed by Merlin 500 years previously to an enchanted sleep inside a magic castle.[citation needed]

The enchantment can only be broken by a rescuer both brave and noble enough to overcome the temptations used successively to distract and overcome prospective suitors, namely:

  • fear
  • wealth
  • pleasure
  • pride[2]

The poem is set in the countryside comprising the original Triermain fiefdom in the Barony of Gilsland in Cumberland. The fief was possessed originally by the old Saxon family of De Vaux, whose male line failed in the 17th century.[3]

Like Harold the Dauntless, The Bridal of Triermain was published anonymously. Scott attempted with his poetry to convince readers that the work was that of his friend William Erskine, even convincing Erskine to provide the preface.[2]


  1. ^ Scott, Sir Walter. Scott's Poetical Works. London: Oxford University Press, 1917. pp. 587-589.
  2. ^ a b Triermain. University of Edinburgh Walter Scott archive.
  3. ^ "de Vaux Family" (PDF). Glasgow University.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Sleeping Beauty