E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tristrem, Tristan, or Tristam. Son of Rouland Rise, Lord of Ermonie, and Blanche Fleur, sister of Marke, King of Cornwall. Having lost both his parents, he was brought up by his uncle. Tristram, being wounded in a duel, was cured by Ysolde, daughter of the Queen of Ireland, and on his return to Cornwall told his uncle of the beautiful princess. Marke sent to solicit her hand in marriage, and was accepted. Ysolde married the king, but was in love with the nephew, with whom she had guilty connection. Tristram being banished from Cornwall, went to Brittany, and married Ysolt of the White Hand, daughter of the Duke of Brittany. Tristram then went on his adventures, and, being wounded, was informed that he could be cured only by Ysolde. A messenger is dispatched to Cornwall, and is ordered to hoist a white sail if Ysolde accompanies him back. The vessel came in sight with a white sail displayed; but Ysolt of the White Hand, out of jealousy, told her husband that the vessel had a black sail flying, and Tristram instantly expired. Sir Tristram was one of the knights of the Round Table. Gotfrit of Strasbourg, a German minnesänger (minstrel) at the close of the twelfth century, composed a romance in verse, entitled Tristan et Isolde. It was continued by Ulrich of Turheim, by Henry of Freyberg, and others, to the extent of many thousand verses. The best edition is that of Breslau, two vols. 8vo, 1823. (See YSOLT, HERMITE.)