Tristan helped his friend Kaherdin in carrying on a lover affair with the wife of a neighboring knight. One day as they were leaving the knight’s castle they wer attacked by the retainers of the angry knight, who had discovered their activities. Kaherdin was killed and Tristan badly wounded. Yseut of the White Hands had Tristan brought back to the palace where she summoned physicians to attend to his wounds. But his greatest pain was beyond the skill of those physicians; it came from a poisoned wound, and he knew that only Yseut the Fair could cure it. He decided accordingly to send a messenger to her: he was to show her the ring she had given Tristan and beg her to come to Brittany to see him. If the messenger was successful in his mission, his ship was to bear white sail on his return; if not, black sails. The messenger went to Cornwall as quickly as he could and found his way to Yseut the Fair. He identified himself by means of the ring and gave her his message. Without a moment’s delay, Yseut set out with the messenger to come to Tristan.
Tristan’s health was daily becoming worse, and he was no longer able to leave his bed. When news came that the ship with his messenger was in sight, he asked his wife anxiously what colour the sails were. But Yseut of the White Hands had overheard Tristan’s instructions to his messenger, and out of jealousy she told him falsely that the sails were black. Believing that at the last his beloved Yseut had failed him, Tristan fell back on his bed and died. When Yseut landed, the lamentation and grief of the people of Brittany told her the death of Tristan. She hurried, griefstricken, to the palace were he lay, kissed him and died as she held him in her arms.
The bodies were taken to Cornwall, for King Mark had decided to give them an honourable burial in the church of Tintagel, one on each side of the nave. The story is told of two trees that grew miraculously, one from Tristan’s tomb and one from Yseut’s; their branches intertwined over the apse. Three times King Mark had the trees cut down, and three times they grew again. Some say it was the power of the love potion that did this.
In Wagner’s retelling of the beloved Celtic myth and its star-crossed lovers, Deborah Voigt—one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos of our time—brings her alluring portrayal of Isolde to a stunning production featuring an impressive international cast. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello hosts this audio preview of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, which opens September 15 in the Kennedy Center Opera House.
I was curious if you'd ever read the Twilight of Avalon series by Anna Elliot. Personally, I think it's better than the Isolde, Queen of the Western Isles series by Rosalind Miles. (On a side note, I'm glad I found your blog. I love Tristan and Isolde :) )
NO I haven’t read it, but I will definetely added to my reading list since I am always in the look out for arthurian themed novels.