Although the themes events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text (there was no one canonical version until Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur was published in 1485) Geoffrey's version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over the British Isles Iceland Norway and Gaul. In fact many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon adviser Merlin the sword Excalibur his birth at Tintagel and his death at Camlann and final rest in Avalon. The 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters such as various Knights of the Round Table. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. Please Note: The cushion Filler is not included.