Posted by: gillarbuthnott | May 4, 2019

The Books That Made Me #2

The Once and Future King by T H White

Image result for the once and future kingI was a gobbler of myths, moving from Greek to Norse and then to the Matter of Britain. I loved the legend of King Arthur in the numerous forms it took, from the Disney film of The Sword in the Stone to Rick Wakeman’s album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and the musical Camelot. (Don’t judge me too harshly…), My favourite version of all was T H White’s The Once and Future King, which preserved the intensity  and tragedy of the legend, and also managed to make it vivid with people who leapt off the page as being real flawed humans, and not just heroes. And that’s what still makes me return to them – the fact that the seeds of the tragic ending (No other musical ends with all the characters heading for death in battle) are sown years before by what Arthur and the others have done in their youth – the terrible, inescapable funnelling of their actions towards doom, just as though it was another Greek myth.

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