Gertrude Schoepperle Loomis (1882-1921), born Gertrude Schoepperle, married the medieval scholar Roger Sherman Loomis in 1919, only three years before her untimely death.

Both husband and wife were Arthurian scholars.

Gertrude Schoepperle is best known for her unsurpassed Tristan and Isolt: A study of the sources of the romances, first published in 1913. Almost a century later it is still generally considered to be, by far, the best book on the subject.

Schoepperle was very much influenced by Joseph Bédier’s theories on the origin of the medieval works on Tristan but very much disagreed with many of Bédier’s theories. She credits Bédier with being very supportive of her new ideas.

Schoepperle believed, like Bédier, that a lost estoire of Tristan lay behind the extent poems and the prose version of the tale, but believed that the German version of Eilhart (and the late ending in the prose version in MS. B.N. 103) with which it closely agrees best represents this lost estoire.

Bédier had made up a complex chart contrasting and comparing various features in different versions of the Tristan story. Schoepperle points out where Bédier’s had misstated which features were found in which version of the works. She points out that features of the medieval tales considered Celtic were mostly not Celtic, while true Celtic features had not been noticed.

The book is not without flaws. Schoepperle’s belief that it was Mathilda daughter of Henry II who gave a copy of the supposed estoire to Eilhart is generally rejected. It was later shown by Samuel Singer that the story of the second Yseult mostly derives from the Arabic romance of Kais and Lobna, supporting Schoepperle’s belief that the second Yseult was a late element in the Tristan story.


  • [Loomis], Gertrude Schoepperle. (1910). The island combat in Tristan. In Studies in English and comparative literature: By former and present students at Radcliffe College: Presented to Agnes Irwin, Lit. D., LL.D. Dean of Radcliffe College, 1894–1909 (pp. 27–47). Boston and London: Ginn and Co.
  • [Loomis], Gertrude Schoepperle. (1913). Tristan and Isolt: A study of the sources of the romance (2 vols). Frankurt a. M.: New York University: Ottendorfer Series of Germanic Monographs No. 6 and 7, J. Baer & Co.