Legends of King Arthur and his knights-Source books

King Arthur


  • Celtic myths (such as the Welsh “Raid on Annwfn”)
  • The Mabinogion
  • Legends of the Grail King and the Fisher King
  • Historical documents about the battle at Mons Badis, General Arturius, and other sixth-century subjects some scholars claim are evidence of a historical basis for later legends
  • Welsh/Latin annals attributed to the so-called “Nennius” (i.e., medieval Latin writings mistakenly attributed to this person in outdated scholarship)
  • Oral legends transmitted by Breton conteurs in France between 1100-1175
  • Pseudo-histories written by Geoffrey of Monmouth (circa 1136)
  • French stories of courtly love in medieval romances (such as Tristram and Iseult, or Lancelot and Gwenevere)
  • Religious allegories about the quest for the holy grail, such as the Queste du Sainte-Graal (c. 1210)
  • Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival (c. 1205)
  • Legends of King Mark of Cornwall, Tristan, and Iseult, such as the eleventh-century poems of Eilhart von Oberg and Thomas d’Angleterre, Beroul’s The Romance of Tristan, the anonymous La folie Tristan de Berne, and Gottfried Von Strassburg’s Tristan (c. 1205)
  • Layamon’s Brut (c. 1200)
  • The anonymous Alliterative Morte Arthur and the Stanzaic Morte Arthur (c. 1360)
  • The Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1375)
  • Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” (c. 1385)
  • Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur (1469)
  • Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1590-96)
  • Scott’s Bridal of Triermain (1813)
  • Peacock’s “The Misfortunes of Elphin” (1829)
  • Morris’s The Defense of Guinevere
  • Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (1832)
  • Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1885)
  • Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  • Wagner’s operas
  • E. A. Robinson’s MerlinLancelot, and Tristram (1915-25)
  • T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King
  • Marion Zimmer-Bradley’s feminist/revisionist tales such as The Mists of Avalon
  • A legion of popular films, cartoons, graphic novels, and works of fantasy literature.

List prepared by Dr. L. Kip Wheeler




Meaning of Literature

The first significant thing is the essentially artistic quality of all literature. All art is the expression of life in forms of truth and beauty; or rather, it is the reflection of some truth and beauty which are in the world, but which remain unnoticed until brought to our attention by some sensitive human soul, just as the delicate curves of the shell reflect sounds and harmonies too faint to be otherwise noticed.

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