What is Arthuriana?
Arthuriana is any type of media focusing on the Legends & Mythology of King Arthur.
Commonly percieved as a part of British mythology, the story of King Arthur actually orignated in Wales as early as 830 CE, and wasn't popularized in England until Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae in 1136 CE.
The historical existance of King Arthur is hotly debated, but if he did exist, his reign would have occured sometime between 500-600 CE, centuries before any written text about him was created. Many modern historians believe that the character of King Arthur was inspired by a Roman warlord leader who fought against the Anglo-Saxons during that time.
Regardless of historical validity, King Arthur exists time and time again over the centuries, as writers continue to bring him and his story to life.
MY ARTHURIANA BOOKS
Arthuriana books that I've thrifted or found at used book stores.
ONCE AND FUTURE KING COLLECTION
The Once and Future King was the first book that got me interested in learning more about Arthurian Legends! I love going to used bookstores, so I've collected some fun different covers.
Lancelot: A Poem (E. A. Robinson)
E. A. Robinson's Lancelot is one of my favorite Arthurian texts. Published in 1920, the longform poems sets the scene at the beginning of the end, shortly before Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship is discovered by Mordred, and ends after the fall of Gawain and Arthur.
To me, the most compelling parts of the text revolve around Gawain and Lancelot's interactions. The poem sees them at their best and their worst, with Gawain starting by defending Lancelot with his life and then falling into a blind rage after the death of his kin. Robinson closes out their story in a painful yet heartfelt manner that makes me want to reread the book over and over again.
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“If I were to be made a knight,“ said the Wart, staring dreamily into the fire, "I should insist on doing my vigil by myself, as Hob does with his hawks, and I should pray to God to let me encounter all the evil in the world in my own person, so that if I conquered there would be none left, and, if I were defeated, I would be the one to suffer for it.”
“That would be extremely presumptuous of you,” said Merlyn, “and you would be conquered, and you would suffer for it.”
“I shouldn’t mind.”
“Wouldn’t you? Wait till it happens and see.”
“Why do people not think, when they are grown up, as I do when I am young?”
“Oh dear,” said Merlyn. ’“You are making me feel confused. Suppose you wait till you are grown up and know the reason?”
“I don’t think that is an answer at all,” replied the Wart, justly.
Merlyn wrung his hands.
“Well, anyway,” he said, “suppose they did not let you stand against all the evil in the world?”
“I could ask,” said the Wart.
“You could ask,” repeated Merlyn.
- The Once and Future King, T. H. White