Tuesday, May 8, 2018

“The Fall of Arthur” – A Fragment by J.R.R. Tolkien

Blame it on Geoffrey of Monmouth(c.1095-c.1155). 

About the year 1136, Geoffrey published The History of the Kings of Britain. The account began with the founding of the British nation by the Trojans after the Greek-Trojan War, continuing through the arrival of the Anglo Saxons in the 7thcentury. The work included the first known account of King Lear and his daughters, and it included an official account of King Arthur, the Knights of the Roundtable, and the prophecies of Merlin.

The work was accepted as history well into the 16thcentury. It turned out to be mostly but not entirely fiction. But it was Geoffrey who first formalized the legend of King Arthur, which was further elaborated by Thomas Malory(1415-1471) and his Morte d’Arthur. (It was a Frenchman, however, Chretien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story.)

Arthur is a legend that still captivates – the idealist warrior who wanted to govern in a different way but ultimately betrayed by those he loved most, and those who loved him. Arthur has given us some of most enduring literary works, including Idylls of the Kingby Alfred Lord Tennyson. He’s also given us the widely popular versions of the story, including the Disney movie The Sword in the Stone, thenovels by Mary Stewart, and the Broadway musical and movie Camelot.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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