Elaine (legend)

Elaine is a name shared by several different female characters in Arthurian legend.

Elaine of AstolatEdit

Elaine of Astolat, also known in some texts as Elaine the Fair or the Fair Maid of Astolat and (as The Lady of Shalott in Lord Alfred Tennyson's same-titled poem) is a maiden who falls in unrequited love with Sir Lancelot.

Elaine of BenoicEdit

Elaine of Benoic (or Benwick) is the wife of King Ban and the mother of Lancelot. She is the sister of Evaine, wife of King Bors of Gaunnes and mother of Sir Lionel and Sir Bors. Her husband dies of grief when his enemy Claudas attacks his city, and Elaine goes to attend to him. She sets the infant Lancelot down, and he is taken by the Lady of the Lake, who raises him. Elaine sees her son for the first time in years just before she dies.[1] In the alternate version from the Italian rewrite Tavola Ritonda, the queen is named Gostanza and she dies of distress just few days after Ban's death and Lancelot's premature birth.

Elaine of CorbenicEdit

Elaine of Corbenic (also known as Amite, Heliaebel, Helaine, Perevida or Helizabel; identified as "The Grail Maiden" or "Grail Bearer" due to her connection to the Holy Grail) is the daughter of King Pelles and the mother of Sir Galahad by Sir Lancelot. She first appears in the Prose Lancelot (the Vulgate Cycle) and plays a major role in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.

Elaine of GarlotEdit

Elaine of Garlot is the daughter of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, and Igraine. She is a sister of Morgan le Fay and Morgause and a half-sister of King Arthur.[2] She marries King Nentres of Garlot[3] and has a son named Galeschin, who becomes a Knight of the Round Table, and a daughter named Elaine the Younger.

Considering the actions of her sisters, she is remarkable in that she is otherwise unremarkable. It is assumed she stayed in her own lands and did little to help or hinder any of her siblings.

Elaine of ListenoiseEdit

Elaine (or Eleine) of Listenoise is the daughter of King Pellinore.[4] She kills herself after the death of her lover Sir Miles of the Laundes.

Some modern authors, such as Marion Zimmer Bradley in The Mists of Avalon, combine or conflate her with Elaine of Corbenic, due to their shared name and the similarity of their fathers' names.

Elaine the PeerlessEdit

Elaine the Peerless is the niece of the Lord of the Fens and wife of Persides the Red of the Castle of Gazevilte.

Elaine the YoungerEdit

Elaine the Younger is the daughter of Elaine of Garlot and (usually) King Nentres, and a niece of King Arthur. In some versions of the legend, she falls in love with Sir Percival. Other versions cast her as a child of King Lot.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bruce, Christopher W. (1999). The Arthurian Name Dictionary. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-8153-2865-0.
  2. ^ "Elaine | British legendary figure". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  3. ^ Wilson, Robert H. (1943). "Malory's Naming of Minor Characters". The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 42 (3): 364–385. ISSN 0363-6941. JSTOR 27705008.
  4. ^ Wilson, Robert H. (1943). "Malory's Naming of Minor Characters". The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 42 (3): 364–385. ISSN 0363-6941. JSTOR 27705008.