White, T. H. Terence Hanbury, 1906-1964
The Once and Future King
Paperback ISBN: 0441020836
The world's greatest fantasy classic is "richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining" (Booklist). The Once and Future King is T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur, a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
T.H. White's the Once and Future King
Hardcover ISBN: 0859913937
The Once and Future King defies classification. Is it for children, or for adults? Is it fantasy or a psychological novel? In its great range, it encompasses poetry and farce, comedy and tragedy - and sudden flights of schoolboy humour. White's 'footnote to Malory' (his own phrase) resulted in the last major retelling of the story based on Malory's Morte Darthur, and in this book Elisabeth Brewer explores the literary context of White's finest work as well as considering his aims and achievement in writing it. White's story of Arthur begins with his 'enfances', set in an imaginary medieval England, but it is far removed from the conventional historical novel. White was writing in wartime England, increasingly absorbed by a need to find an antidote to war; through the medium of the Arthurian story he found his own voice, his unique contribution to keeping alive the flame of civilisation. Malory's chivalric virtues are rejected in favour of White's own 2Oth-century values; the love affair of Lancelot and Guenever is interpreted in terms of modern psychology. The books which eventually made up The Once and Future King of 1958 appeared in distinctly different editions. In discussing these, Elisabeth Brewer looks at some of the ways in which White drew on his own experience - family, childhood, Cambridge, and friendships - at a deep psychological level, while also incorporating into his story material inspired by his antiquarian pursuits and (with particular reference to the theme of education) by his years as a schoolmaster. She completes her study with an account of White's use of historical material, and the relationship of The Once and Future King to the Morte Darthur.