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The Once and Future King by T.H. White
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The Once and Future King (original 1958; edition 1987)

by T.H. White

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9,949127285 (4.1)2 / 475
Member:wyvernfriend
Title:The Once and Future King
Authors:T.H. White
Info:Collins (1987), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, fantasy, tbr

Work details

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

20th century (104) Arthur (124) Arthurian (521) Arthurian legend (279) Arthuriana (60) British (91) British literature (73) Camelot (81) classic (253) classics (174) England (123) fantasy (1,578) fiction (1,414) Folio Society (64) historical (65) historical fiction (156) King Arthur (461) knights (62) legend (60) literature (147) magic (90) medieval (84) Merlin (155) mythology (168) novel (216) own (62) read (133) sff (71) to-read (182) unread (108)
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English (122)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
The first book, The Sword in the Stone is fun and very enjoyable. Trying to continue it just doesn't work.

This doesn't fit into normal Arthurian literature. White plays too much with anachronisms. he also isn't interested in the chivalry, but only in exploring the ways force breeds force even when used for the best of reasons. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Jul 16, 2014 |
When I was looking for this book, I wanted a book that would tell me definitively the life of King Arthur. Somehow, my knowledge of him was severely lacking: Sword in the Stone, Merlyn, Round Table, Gwenevere and Lancelot...but that's it basically.

I think that I was expecting more stories of the Round Table, or more stories about Knights and chivalry. What I got was, well, not that. The first of four parts dealt solely with Arthur's childhood--which was interesting, but I really didn't feel that the character that White described could have been the same who put forth all the ideas of the Round Table/might vs right, etc. I guess what I'm saying is that he seemed to lack anything of exception--minus his friendship with Merlyn.

Parts 2, 3, and 4 I felt hardly involved Arthur at all. It was almost completely about Gwen and Lance...which I guess could be alright...and may be necessary to understanding Arthur, but dang it! It really just wasn't what I expected.

After it's all said and done, after reading this book, I'm not at all interested in reading any more about Arthur...which is unfortunate. But what's worse, is that I think less of the stories than I did before reading the book.

The book is well written (perhaps too descriptive on some parts, and dreadfully brief on others)...and it tells a story. It's possible it's just not the story I wanted to hear. So I give the book 3 stars, even it wasn't the perfect fit for me. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I have mixed reactions with this one. I know this is a satirical version of the Arthurian legend so I was not expecting it to be a serious novel. Everybody knows about King Arthur and his round table. It was made into books, movies and even cartoons. This one was weird. It was nice to see King Arthur in a different light but the first half of the story was weird and confusing. I like the second half better especially the end part where King Arthur's round table is starting to crumble.

The book was superbly written and the characters are memorable. I especially like Gawaine and Gareth of the Orkney clan. I also like Kay and of course who wouldn't love Wart and Merlyn. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Jun 26, 2014 |
T.H. White's classic telling of the King Arthur story stands up to time because it is simply and beautifully written. It's actually four books, the last of which ("The Candle in the Wind") doesn't quite hold up to the promise of the first three, but is worth reading nonetheless. White interprets Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Artur" as well as creating Arthurian myths of his own.


Petrea Burchard
Camelot & Vine ( )
  PetreaBurchard | Feb 9, 2014 |
Truly astonishing. At the end I was crying, not just because it is sad (though it is, devastatingly so) or because it is beautiful (though it is that too), but also because it was ending.
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (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.Authorprimary 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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Epigraph
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...'
Dedication
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.
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(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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