TalkArthurian Legends

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Nov 10, 2009, 1:16am

so i'm sort of new to the topic of Arthurian literature. i've always taken an interest in the subject, but have never made the time to actually read very much of it. having more time now, i was wondering if anyone here might recommend a good place to start?

Edited: Nov 10, 2009, 1:28am

The once and future King for the story itself, I guess.

Oh, and maybe Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Or were you asking for essays about the deeper meanings and the relevance to western literature?

Edited: Nov 10, 2009, 1:40am

You can try to read Sir Thomas Malory's - Le Morte D'Arthur is all about King Arthur and his knights adventures. A good start to read about Sir Arthur.
Click for Arthurian literature at

Nov 10, 2009, 8:20am

If you're looking for entertainment (as opposed to scholarly works) I would suggest the Mary Stewart trilogy: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment.

Nov 11, 2009, 7:01pm

For a good, readable, pretty traditional fictional introduction to the legend as a whole, I always recommend Roger Lancelyn Green's King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. In it Mordred is Arthur's nephew online, not his bastard son, but otherwise everything is fairly standard, which makes for a good starting point.

Nov 11, 2009, 7:29pm

If you want to approach the Arthurian material seriously, you might want to dive into Chretien de Troyes' Arthurian Romances, then look to Malory for the British iteration.

For a good classic study of the grail legend (and a fixture on Colonel Kurtz's bookshelf in "Apocalypse Now'), look for Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance.

I hope you are planning a long-term study.

Nov 11, 2009, 7:36pm

Yes, we used the Chretien de Troyes book when I took an Arthurian class in college.

Hmm, the touchstone isn't working...

Nov 11, 2009, 8:03pm

And, lastly, never, ever watch Merlin on NBC.

Nov 11, 2009, 8:07pm

Tennyson's Idylls of the King, if you like poetry.