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Idylls of the King
Alfred Tennyson
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Idylls of the King

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  8,195 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Alternate cover edition of ISBN10: 0140422536; ISBN13: 9780140422535

Written in the middle of his career, Idylls of the King is Tennyson's longest and most ambitious work. Reflecting his lifelong interest in Arthurian themes, his primary sources were Malory's Morte d'Arthur and the Welsh Mabinogion. For him, the Idylls embodied the universal and unending war between sense a
Published September 5th 1989 by Turtleback Books (first published 1885)
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Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a beautiful, old edition of this book. I wish I could show you.

On the book marker, in old-fashioned cursive, it says,
Merry Christmas
To Lottie

This is a truly beautiful work. Enchanting. Mesmerizing, really.
There is just one little thing though...
I'd heard rumblings of this book being misogynistic. Loving Tennyson as I do, I refused to believe it. Basically, I read the book like this:
"Well, that's not necessarily sexist...Okay, it is. But, surely he didn't intend...Okay, he d
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read my softcover copy so many times it is falling apart. I really need to get a nice, illustrated, hard cover. I read this book several times a year. And sob hysterically at the end so that I can hardly finish. The saddest lines for me are (spoken by Arthur to Guinevere visiting her in the nunnery before the final battle with Modred):

"Thou hast not made my life so sweet to me,
That I the King should greatly care to live;
For thou hast spoilt the purpose of my life."

The agony in those lines
Laurel Hicks
“The city is built
To music, therefore never built at all,
And therefore built forever.”
Ah, Tennyson! It feels like coming home. This book is music to me.
Abigail Hartman
Tennyson's poetry is some of the most beautiful I've encountered (admittedly, not saying much, because my acquaintance with poetry is slight): his turns of phrase and the pictures he paints are wonderfully evocative, and there's an eerie mysticism in stories like "The Holy Grail." Even the fatalism -- as the idylls begin in spring and descend into a thoroughly gloomy autumn -- draws you in. Of course, since the unifying theme is the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere and the chaos it brings, ...more
Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

From BBC Radio 3 - Drama on 3:
Alfred Lord Tennyson's epic poem The Idylls of the King, narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith and adapted by Michael Symmons Roberts.

Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just finished this one for my Victorian Literature seminar. I will admit that the prospect of reading a 300+ page long poem was daunting, but well, well worth it. I have always admired Tennyson's work. This one is a bit different though. The language is not as resonant, but the imagery is spectacularly beautiful. Also, lots of lovely moments of universal truth within the story. They pop out of nowhere sometimes. The characters have a liquid, uncertain quality, bringing a whole lot of ambiguity t ...more
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian, favorites
This book was every bit as beautiful as I could imagine. I had previously loved and read The Lady of Shalott. Idylls, however, is a testament to his love and knowledge of Arthurian legend.

You'll likely walk away from this book with lots of favorite passages. And you might fall in love with the characters of this legend all over again.

Lancelot - "...a dying fire of madness in his eyes"

Percivale - "Had heaven appear'd so blue, nor earth so green, For all my blood danced in me, and I knew That I s
Geraint & Enid still rock, although today their story would probably be featured on an episode of Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? on the Investigation Discovery channel.

Ain't no wimmens gonna put up with a control-freak like Sir Geraint. Just sayin'...

David M.
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are certain books, or authors, that don't hold up to modern political correctness. Mark Twain is one of them; Huckleberry Finn is constantly under threat to be banned from American schools. Robert E. Howard's protagonists routinely face villains who embody the worst of early twentieth century stereotypes. But Tennyson, in Idylls of the King comes under fire for his female characters in his series of epic poems concerning King Arthur and his valorous knights. What is not generally kept in m ...more
Aug 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads ate my first review so eventually (maybe) something will be fit in here.

I wish all the poems were written in this style. (h/t to MookBarks)
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong description for edition 2 12 Oct 05, 2013 06:33AM  
  • Arthurian Romances
  • The Mabinogion
  • The History of the Kings of Britain
  • Complete Works
  • The Ring and the Book
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends
  • A Shropshire Lad
  • The Faerie Queene
  • The Quest of the Holy Grail
  • Tristan: With the Tristran of Thomas
  • The Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
  • Goblin Market and Other Poems
  • Parzival
  • Troilus and Criseyde
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
Alfred Tennyson, invariably known as Alfred Lord Tennyson on all his books, was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, the fourth of the twelve children of George Tennyson, clergyman, and his wife, Elizabeth. In 1816 Tennyson was sent to Louth Grammar School, which he disliked so intensely that from 1820 he was educated at home until at the age of 18 he joined his two brothers at Trinity College, Cambrid ...more
More about Alfred Tennyson...
“Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of: Wherefore, let thy voice,
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.”
“This madness has come on us for our sins.” 10 likes
More quotes…