This is actually four books in one. It traces the journey of the young King Arthur to the end of his life. The Disney movie, The Sword In the Stone was taken from the first of the books.One of the most readable of the Arthurian books, it can be read by all ages.
A somewhat humorous retelling of Mallory's version of the Arthur/Camelot/Guinevere/Lancelot story. Well worth reading! Part I appears to have been the basis for Walt Disney's The Sword in the Stone. But beware having children read this book. Contains incest, adultery, etc.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Quartet of novels by T.H. White, published in a single volume in 1958. The quartet comprises The Sword in the Stone (1938), The Queen of Air and Darkness--first published as The Witch in the Wood (1939)--The Ill-Made Knight (1940), and The Candle in the Wind (published in the composite volume, 1958). The series is a retelling of the Arthurian legend, from Arthur's birth to the end of his reign, and is based largely on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur. After White's death, a conclusion to The Once and Future King was found among his papers; it was published in 1977 as The Book of Merlyn
This is one of several books I remember reading as a teenager that showed me the magic and imagination that can be found in books.
Many people seem to believe that White is too long- winded but they're not taking into account the entire world the author has to bring to life complete with it's inhabitants. He gives it depth and makes it tangible with his attention to detail of a time long ago.
The story begins with a young Arthur and the approach that White takes reflects the whimsy and enchantment that the world possesses to a child. As Arthur comes into his role as king, the approach becomes less mystical and the tone more adult. By the third book, it's almost hard to believe that this is the same story the reader began with, yet White does it seamlessly and maintains the fluidity.
He expresses his views on politics, religion, and human nature through this masterfully crafted tale and, although it's a bit preachy at times, it doesn't detract from the story making this one of the greatest interpretations of Arthurian legend.
One of the definitive Arthurian novels. T.H. White's version is by far the most popular account of Arthur and his Knights. This is a great starter for young readers, as well as a wonderful tale for all ages.
The wizard mentor Merlyn's wisdom is everlasting in my life, and this story of the Wart growing into King Arthur is a timeless tale. The Arthurian story is familiar in a comforting way, but it never fails to tug at one's heartstrings even after the fifth read. It is filled with subtle ideas and thoughts, and it will leave you pondering.
I enjoyed finally learning the whole story behind the King Arthur and Queen Guenever and Sir Lancelot love triangle. I'm glad I have "The Book of Meryln" to read next to hopefully cap a better ending to all the stories. The ending implies what happens to King Arthur ... but I just want told again to be certain.
Excellent book; portrays the well-known characters of Arthurian legend as real people with complex personalities, and the ideals of the Round Table as a constantly-evolving philosophy. I fell asleep trying to read Malory in high school, but there's so much dimension to White's version of Arthur's life and times that it almost feels like a totally different story.
Note: While reading this book, I ran across a lot more unfamiliar words than usual. This website was a really helpful resource for understanding the obscure hunting, culinary, etc. terms that White uses: http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/thwhite.htm#anim
Great book for teens.
From the cover:
The world's greatest fantasy classic. Camelot and romance and wizardry and war by the author of 'The Book of Merlyn.'
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.
This is considered a classic - I don't know why! It is very "dated" and many of the social references are unknown to the modern reader. However, the beginning is very funny (a la Terry Pratchett) Worth reading to say you've read it.
I read this book for an English class. I thought it was okay but it required a lot of patience. The characters were lacking and it seemed there was no definite plot. However, don't let it deture you from reading this book. It was well worth it in the end.