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The Once and Future King by T.H. White

The Once and Future King (original 1958; edition 1968)

by T.H. White

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10,269136280 (4.1)2 / 502
Title:The Once and Future King
Authors:T.H. White
Info:Berkley Publishing (1968), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Once and Future King by T.H. White (1958)


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English (131)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
First of all, it turns out that I really know very little about the Arthurian legends. Here are some things I've learned from The Once and Future King: 1. It's spelled Merlyn. 2. It's spelled Guenever.

3. Lancelot is considered quite ugly. 4. This is not the authoritative volume of all things Arthurian. There is actually a series of books by Sir Thomas Malory collectively called Le Morte d'Arthur (I've just ordered the first book so get ready for that in the future) which were referenced more than once in The Once and Future King. This was a beautifully written book and had me so caught up that I actually missed my stop on the train...twice. It's full of damsels in distress, knights in glittering armor, love beyond measure, and above all chivalry. There's a reason that many consider this book to be the best fantasy novel ever written. ( )
  AliceaP | Mar 20, 2015 |
This was a funny one. There is a significant change of style and tone over the four books, and I would say that whilst both the childlike whimsy of first book (The Sword in the Stone) and the epic humanism of the final book (The Candle in the Wind) are wonderful reads, in differing ways, neither of the two transitional books work at all.

The worst is definitely The Ill-Made Knight, the third book - which is a ill-made mixture of childish simplicity with adult themes, and feels plain odd. The books leaves all character development of its two main protagonists (Lancelot and Guenevere) for the fourth book, barely features Arthur at all, rushes past the deaths of some of the key knights, has none of the madcap creativity of the early books, and tries to do moralising and irony in the same breath.

However, you can't not love the collection as a whole, given the strengths of other books. White's textual richness is his main success, and the way he illuminates the 'dark ages', making it feel fizzing with life. Also: is there a more euphonic title than 'The Once and Future King'. Beautiful. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Feb 20, 2015 |
So many flaws it should get only three stars. But so influential in movies (Disney’s _The Sword in the Stone_ [or was it _The Sword was the Law?_], _Camelot_) & so representative of a time & a mindset, it becomes almost essential. ( )
  leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
Here is a book that deserves to be read much, much more than it is. And then you should put aside while you read Le Morte D'Arthur. And then come back to this one again. And do it a few more times after that. Or at least do yourself a favor and read The Sword in the Stone, Book
One of The Once and Future King, so you can rescue yourself from the Disney version which leaves the impression that this is a book for kids. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
Everything I know about life, I learned from this book. ( )
  megantron | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
It knits together the funny, the moving, the fanciful and the psychologically astute in a rich tapestry of the medieval age of chivalry... Whatever else it is or is not. this is a book of profound patriotic piety which glorifies Arthur as the father of his country, and finds in the childlike wonder and faith of medieval England the crucible of future English greatness.
added by Shortride | editTime (Sep 8, 1958)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
White, T.H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jason, NevilleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marvin, FredericCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vat, Daan van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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She is not any common earth

Water or wood or air,

But Merlin's Isle of Gramarye

Where you and I will fare.
When shall I be dead and rid
Of the wrong my father did?
How long, how long, till spade and hearse
Put to sleep my mother's curse?
"Nay," said Sir Lancelot "... for

once shamed may never be recovered."
"He thought a little and said:

'I have found the Zoological Gardens of service to many of my patients.  I should prescribe for Mr. Pontifex a course of the larger mammals.  Don't let him think he is taking them medicinally...'
For J.A.J.A.
First words
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition and Astrology. The governess was always getting muddled - she would take it out of the Wart by rapping his knuckles.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
These editions of The Once and Future King do NOT contain the Book of Merlyn. Please do not combine with the editions that DO contain the Book of Merlyn.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
The whole world knows and loves this book.  It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlyn and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly; of wizardry and war.  It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad.  It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.
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No descriptions found.

A revised omnibus edition of White's retelling of Arthurian legends. The first three sections of this book were originally published separately: The Sword in the Stone (1939), The Witch in the Wood (1939; here called "The Queen of Air and Darkness"), The Ill-Made Knight (1940), and the previously unpublished section, "The Candle in the Wind." The Book of Merlyn, written in 1941, was originally intended as the fifth and final book of the saga. It was first published by the University of Texas Press in 1977 and reissued by Berkley, 1978 (pap.). The whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlin and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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