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@Read Epub ¹ The Once and Future King × TH White s masterful retelling of the Arthurian legend is an abiding classic Here all five volumes that make up the story are published in one volume, as White himself always wished Exquisite comedy offsets the tragedy of Arthur s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm From Geoffrey of Monmouth 1 to Thomas Malory 2 to Alfred Lord Tennyson 3 to T.H White 4 to Lerner Lowe 5 1 Historia Regum Britanniae History of the Kings of Britain , 1130s 2 La Morte d Arthur, 14853 Idylls of the King, 1859 854 The Once and Future King, 1938 415 Camelot, 1960 Broadway The big time 1 See here for the association of the musical Camelot with the Kennedy Administration.2 Here s an extended quote from the first page of the book, to indicate theFrom Geoffrey of Monmouth 1 to Thomas Malory 2 to Alfred Lord Tennyson 3 to T.H White 4 to Lerner Lowe 5 1 Historia Regum Britanniae History of the Kings of Britain , 1130s 2 La Morte d Arthur, 14853 Idylls of the King, 1859 854 The Once and Future King, 1938 415 Camelot, 1960 Broadway The big time 1 See here for the association of the musical Camelot with the Kennedy Administration.2 Here s an extended quote from the first page of the book, to indicate the flavor don t confuse with Harry Potter, this was written in 1938 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 with her astrolabe, and when she got especially muddled she would take it out on the Wart by rapping his knuckles She did not rap Kay s knuckles, because when Kay grew older he would be Sir Kay, the master of the estate The Wart was called the Wart because itor less rhymed with Art, which was short for his real name In the afternoons the programme was Monday and Friday, tilting and horsemanship Tuesdays, hawking Wednesdays, fencing Thursdays, archery Saturdays, the theory of chivalry, with the proper measures to be blown on all occasions, terminology of the chase and hunting etiquette This was one of the best books I read in my early college years.The overly Madison Ave cover is an advertisement for and or playing off the popularity fame of the Lerner Loewe musical Camelot, whose original run on Broadway opened on December 3, 1960 and closed on January 5, 1963 873 performances The original cast included the rather duo pictured on the cover Richard Burton and Julie Andrews.Somehow I first heard the music from this while on an NSF summer institute at Pan American College in 1961 I associate the music with both that experience, and with the Texas girl I met there that I fell in love with view spoiler Well, that didn t pan out, but I m glad My wife and I started going together the next summer after graduating from high school Next year will be our 50th anniversary hide spoiler I still have the vinyl record of Camelot Haven t listened to it for a long time view spoiler I m breaking up a little bit here hide spoiler Well that s The Once and Future King for me Rating increased from 4 to a 5 somewhere along the way Previous review Stoner John WilliamsRandom review Light in AugustNext review Complete Works, ShakespearePrevious library review Sword of Honor trilogy WaughNext library review To the Lighthouse Woolf This book terrified me, on many levels It s 667 pages long, to begin with It s been a while since I read a serious chunkster like that besides Harry Potter, which somehow in my mind doesn t really count.Besides that, I am just not a fan of Authur stories, despite my deep love of the Disney movie The Sword and the Stone, of course Ever since I saw the musical Camelot in the theater when I was in high school, the story just didn t appeal to me Then my book club chose this as our month This book terrified me, on many levels It s 667 pages long, to begin with It s been a while since I read a serious chunkster like that besides Harry Potter, which somehow in my mind doesn t really count.Besides that, I am just not a fan of Authur stories, despite my deep love of the Disney movie The Sword and the Stone, of course Ever since I saw the musical Camelot in the theater when I was in high school, the story just didn t appeal to me Then my book club chose this as our monthly selection and I finally decided it was time to tackle this monster.Was it worth reading Absolutely This book is so muchthan just Arthur and Camelot The first section of the book is essentially the Disney movie, and that part does grab you and you love Wart so much that you keep reading just to find out how it ends for him although, it got harder and harder to keep reading for a while there, in the middle it got a bit slow.White, our beloved author, is a genius, really He s like your friend or fellow book club member, who just happened to be there, in the middle ages, and he s telling you the story with his own language and always using references to modern day concerns and people He sometimes appears to mock them and their ways oh, especially those blundering old knights , other times he pities them, but mostly, I felt as though he was trying to understand them and why they made the choices they did.The book is, to me, chiefly three different things.First, it is a historical study of England at the time, which is both interesting and confusing, with many Lords and Kings and battles etc Obviously this is a fantasy book and it s based on legend, but either way, we read a lot of political and historical stuff.Second, much of the book is devoted to a character study of Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot Arthur, the imperfect, naive, thoughtful and above all, forgiving king Guinevere, the stubborn and difficult to understand queen mistress White often just tells us straight out that he doesn t know why she made the choices she did And Lancelot the ill made knight, the self loathing hero of the round table who made a lot of mistakes and yet always tried his best to be moral except where Guinevere was concerned, of course.Thirdly, I felt like this was a very moral and philosophical book White asks difficult questions, usually through Arthur, trying to figure out issues like Is man inherently good Why do we have wars and what causes them Which do we oweloyalty to, our family clan or our country Is it better to get revenge or to forgive How do we best create peace through worship, through wars or through civil justice This book is truly a work of art I must admit however, that as soon as the Sword in the Stone section of the book is over, the story was completely depressing, in every way imaginable Nearly everyone is either deceived, deceitful, or unhappy Bad things are constantly happening to good people and even the good people seem to be constantly making bad choices I must also admit that it was still insanely interesting and worthwhile and, even amid the depressing things, I found myself laughing out loud Often I found myself pondering the idea of actions and consequences and how often our actions can lead to things in our future that we never could ve imagined My heart ached for Arthur, for what he had and for what he lost.But, you should read it Read it for Arthur and Sir Pellinore and for White s use of the word chuckle head I d be surprised if you regret it It s a classic for a reason Wonderful story Great characters Clearly bar raising for its time. Seriously, how do you review the pinnacle of all fantasy You can argue with me, but that, in my opinion, is what The Once and Future King is Sure, the evil enchantresses are stout and grumpy, the magical castles are made out of food, the lily maids are fat and of a certain age, and the knights in shining armor refer to one another as old chap s Oh and did I mention that King Arthur s nickname is the Wart Somehow, T.H White takes the legend, undresses it, and gives it a new kind of dignit Seriously, how do you review the pinnacle of all fantasy You can argue with me, but that, in my opinion, is what The Once and Future King is Sure, the evil enchantresses are stout and grumpy, the magical castles are made out of food, the lily maids are fat and of a certain age, and the knights in shining armor refer to one another as old chap s Oh and did I mention that King Arthur s nickname is the Wart Somehow, T.H White takes the legend, undresses it, and gives it a new kind of dignity Fantastical happenstance takes secondary place to human emotions and actions, noble, selfish, and ridiculous And the narrator himself always lurks somewhere, hastening to explain himself when it seems necessary, or simply describe the king of the fishes as rather American looking, like Uncle Sam To some the novel subdivided into four books may seem big and slow moving But it is not a book to read in a day nor should it be, since it concerns entire lives, whole worlds, both real and imaginary The characters are spared no description we know them better than we ever could have before This is fiction at its finest