King Arthur and Friends

I have found that the King Arthur legends can be addictive. Once you begin to become familiar with the characters, you want to know more about them. There is certainly no shortage of tales, with all his knights and ladies, fairies, magicians and enchantresses. And there is no shortage of versions and artwork to go along with them. Here are a few hundred to get you going:
Wikipedia Bibliography of King Arthur
Listopia, from Goodreads

OK, so those are the legends and stories based on the legends. But was Arthur a real person? Dunno. Don't think anyone really knows for sure either. Perhaps it doesn't matter. Just like myths, which includes the basis for ALL religions, it may not be important whether or not the people were real. It is what they symbolized that made them important.While I am not into blood and gore, medieval or modern, these knights fought to uphold honor and justice. They were also sworn to protect any damsel, whether rich or poor, from harm, and to submit to the will of Woman, when she made a request. Knights of honor were the protectors of those in need, and responsible for keeping the countryside free from those who would do harm. Were there evil knights? Lots of them. Did even the Knights of the Round Table, known as the most hononrable and brave and trustworthy in the land—did they make errors, show weakness and behave with dishonor? Yes, at times they did, including the great Sir Launcelot. But these knights also paid for their transgressions through shame, often going into seclusion as hermits to purge their bodies and souls from sin.

Wikipedia provides a good article which includes arguments both for and against Arthur being an historical figure. If he was, he most likely lived in the 6th century and fought for Brittain against the invading Anglo-Saxons. Stories were added to the legend, but it was not until the 12th century that the French writer Chrétien de Troyes added Launcelot and stories of the Holy Grail. Like all myths and religions, the tales evolved through the ages, probably becoming more exciting but less exact. Remember, myths and religions evolve throughout the ages according to the needs of the people they serve. When the age of chivalry died out, so did the King Arthur legends. Thankfully, they are now back in vogue and still evolving.

I am not wanting in King Arthur materials, so expect this page to fill up fast. I am looking forward to re-reading T. H. White's The Once and Future King, which became my absolute all-time favorite book when I read it in high school. We shall see if it still hold top spot. It is number two on the Goodreads list linked above, so I am thinking my opinion will not have changed after 45 years. I also have the Chrétien de Troyes book mentioned above, but have not read it as of this writing. Plus, with all the online sources, especially free eBooks, reading materials about these ancient heroes is nearly unlimited.

And then there is the art. Check out the beautiful Dover collection, Visions of Camelot, listed below, some of which are also shown on this page, along with other various works spanning the ages.

Novels Related to King Arthur

H.J. Ford: Arthur meets the Lady of the Lake and gets the Sword Excalibur

Arthurian Romances
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
The Secret Glory
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

N.C.Wyeth: King Mark slays Sir Tristram

Arthur Rackham: Merlin and Nimue (Vivien)

Sets or Series Related to King Arthur

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Arthur's tomb, 1855

The King Arthur Books
The Once and Future King

Tapestry of Arthur (c. 1385)

Gustave Doré: Camelot

Willy Pogány: A knight rode into sight

The King Arthur Legends in Art and Illustration

Galehaut Arranged Lancelot and Guinevere' First Kiss, Manuscript illustration, c 1400

Visions of Camelot: Great Illustrations of King Arthur and His Court

Coloring Books

The Adventures of King Arthur

Joseph Noël Paton: How an Angel Rowed Sir Galahad Across Dern Mere, 1888

See Also

Howard Pyle

Medieval Era, Knights & Armor

Celtic (Irish, Scottish, Welsh)

Epic, Fantasy, Adventure
Fairytales, Myths, Folklore


Arthur Hacker: The Temptation of Sir Percival, 1894

All material on this site copyright © 2024 by Laughing Crow.
This site designed and written by Laughing Crow.