There is a good chance I knew Chretien de Troyes in my life as William Longespee.
First, a lot of familiar names come up in his bio. Eleanor D’Aquitaine (wife of Henry II), Marie de France (who dedictated her “Ysopet” to one “Count William“), and Philip I, Count of Flanders (who fell ill and died at the Siege of Acre).
Although the name is known mainly to medieval and literary scholars today, Chretien de Troyes is dwarfed only by Homer for his influence. Without him, Dan Brown wouldn’t even have a career let alone a bestseller. He gave us the character Sir Launcelot du Lac who has been the subject of countless books, plays, films, and works of art and music. He also created the whole Holy Grail legend pretty much on his own, which was later adapted by Richard Wagner as the opera Parsifal (which influenced my previous life’s work).
But most importantly, he was one of the authors credited with producing the prototype for the modern novel, a favor that I still owe a debt to even in this life. Or perhaps that debt was already paid in patronage; it is known that I was a patron of the arts in those days and I probably did know Marie de France who may well have introduced us. Sadly, I don’t remember.
Strange how that works out, isn’t it?