Tag: King Arthur

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Unexpected Gifts: An Unlikely Troubadour

 

Thomas Mallare, of Newbold Revel in the County of Warwickshire, died 548 years ago on March 14, 1471. He was born fifty-six years before that, with a bit of a silver spoon in his mouth, to a Midlands Justice of the Peace and his heiress wife. Mallare had an uneventful childhood, was knighted in 1441 at the age of 26, and distinguished himself in his early career as a professional soldier.

“Well,” you might say, “he’s a made man.” You might think it was all settled, all done and dusted. Fast forward to wife, children, a retreat to an estate in the country after a successful military career, a bit of local politicking or a judicial appointment of his own, too much fine food and drink, and an early death from apoplexy or a “surfeit of eels.” That’s generally how it went, back in olden days, right?

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Book Review: The Historical Background of the King Arthur Legend

 

King Arthur is probably the world’s best-known fictional character. Writers from the 11th century’s Chrétien de Troyes to Bernard Cornwell in the 21st century have written stories about him. And the King Arthur’s legend keeps growing. A story this well-known must have a historical basis.

King Arthur: The Making of the Legend, by Nicholas J. Higham examines that issue. It’s a search for the source of the Arthur legend.

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Le Morte D’Arthur

 

I was once impractical enough to waste a college credit on a course devoted entirely to the Arthurian legend. Even if the stories were good, the course would have been wasteful. But the stories were not good, to my surprise. It was like reading a soap opera over and over again. The 1981 film Excalibur […]

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