Arthuriana -- all things King Arthur ! discussion

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Arthurs that no one has ever heard of?

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message 1: by Michele (new)

Michele Anyone know of Arthur or Arthur-related books that are kind of obscure? I've hit all the major ones and many of the minor ones, and am now down to looking for obscure ones :) Suggestions?


message 2: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
Did you just form this group? Fabulous!


I am always happy to talk Arthurian lit! I have read some of the most beautiful Arthurian literature ever created. The authors of this genre* are a highly talented group of people, arent they?
And I am always on the search for more.

*Is it right to call it a genre when it is such a big part of literature worldwide and so influential to our culture? Probably genre is understating it, but it comes in handy when talking about the modern books anyway!

Michele, do you prefer Arthurian lit that runs more toward military emphasis, romantic, fantasy, or all of the above (smile)?

It sounds like you know your way around the literature, but some of the ones I have found may have flown slightly under the radar so.....

Lately I have started looking at some of the young adult novels.
Song of the Sparrow - Lisa Sandoll, a novel in verse, I have only read excerpts, but it sounds absolutely beautiful.
King Arthur and the Round Table - Geraldine McCaughrean, this one was impressive for a YA
Young Lancelot - Robt San Souci, actually a children's book but well done, well-illustrated
Rosemary Sutclif's YA novels - the same beautiful writing as Sword at Sunset only a different tone for a younger audience

Miscellaneous
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight - the Buron Raffel translation, the trans. stood out to me of the 3 I have read so far. It made more sense and I was able to gather the meaning of the story best with this version
Camelot's Destiny - Cynthia Breeding, this is a Guinevere novel and more of a romance, but one of the more recent novels, Cynthia has a recent sequel to this I haven't read.
House of Pendragon - Debra Kemp, I haven't read, but Debra is on Goodreads

Avalon - Stephen Lawhead, this novel is greatly different from his Pendragon series. I was really captured by this unique novel, however, if anyone would like to discuss -- I have recently read through part of the Pendragon series and I don't know what to make of it. I am having difficulty understanding his outline of the story you might say.

Any help, Michele?

I would love to know of any lesser-knowns that you have found.

I know there are a few others I will add later. I also have an Arthurian shelf on my booklist, there may be some there.

How great of you to start this post!


message 3: by Michele (last edited Oct 05, 2008 06:57AM) (new)

Michele Hi Sarah -- Excellent! I know Sutcliff and Lawhead but the others are new to me, yay :) As for my preferences, I've started a new thread on that so see there. Let's see, lesser-knowns that I have. Well, depending on how familiar you are with YA lit, you may have heard of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising five-book sequence? It's about Arthur's son having to defend the world against the rising of the Dark, with the help of Merlin and some other Old Ones. Excellent!

Another interesting take on it is the 12-issue comic book series Camelot 3000 -- this takes the old myth that Arthur will awaken when Britain is in need and has him and the knights waking in the year 3000. Some interesting twists, including at least one gender-change for one of the knights!

There's The King by Donald Barthelme, a very different take on it. And Diana Paxson's The White Raven which tells the story of Tristan and Ysolde, sort of a "branch" of Arthuriana. Firelord by Parke Godwin is one with a more military slant. Arthur Rex by Thomas Berger shows the Round Table in a somewhat less flattering light.

The Coming of the King by Nikolai Tolstoy is on my shelf but I haven't read it yet -- supposedly "an epic novel of the life of Merlin," well, we'll see about THAT. The author is related to the famous Tolstoy, not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing LOL!




message 4: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
Michele,

It looks like you like a variety of types of Arthurian. I will look for Camelot 3000 in particular.

I have also heard of Coming of the King and The White Raven. Isn't Diana Paxson associated with some other King Arthur stories? maybe?

Thomas Berger - I heard was great.

I have read Parke Godwin -- who also wrote a Tristan & Isolde. I remember that Godwin portrays Arthur as a more violent leader -- not as calm as many other versions. It seemed he* takes a harder view of the story in general. (*I think the author is male.)

Lately I have been more interested in Gawain's story (one reason I loved that version of The Green Knight I mentioned) and want to read more about Galahad. Anyone have any suggestions?

I will go to the other thread, because I definitely want to discuss the particular authors.






message 5: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
I wanted to add a couple more titles to our discussion of the lesser known works of Arthuriad.

The Idylls of the Queen by Phyllis Ann Karr (the publisher's blurb on the cover is: An Arthurian Fantasy of Magic & Murder) my rating 4 stars

The Queen's Knight by Marvin Borowsky (published in 1950's, harsh depiction of Arthur, one of those versions where no one seems to be a hero -- I'm not finished with it yet though)


message 6: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) | 6 comments As to obscure Arthurian authors, I haven't seen anyone mention A.A. Attanasio and his 4 novels:

The Dragon and the Unicorn
The Eagle and the Sword
The Serpent and the Grail
The Wolf and the Crown

I think Dragon & Unicorn is the first of the series.

Arthur enters the story as a young, blood-thirsty sociopath with few redeeming qualities until he comes under the tutelage of Merlin. I think what most drew me to the series (aside from Attanasio's qualities as a writer) was Merlin's origins - a "demon" born in the Big Bang who impregnates a nun and incarnates as a human being.


message 7: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Folks, I'm a big fan of the "old school" Arthur stuff so I will mercilessly plug them here:
The Gododdin - Arthur only mentioned in passing. Dark ages war poem from the Forth/Clyde Valley in Scotland.
The Mabinogion - old tales from back in the days before all the plate armour. On a similar note, but much more recent, is The Coming of the King which is more Merlin related, mixes the stories of Taliesin in as well, loads of old Welsh names which might put a few folk off though.
Thanks for the hints on other books folks.


message 8: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Anna, they shouldn't be too hard. Gododdin might be the trickier of the 2 though. There are (very) wee reviews of them via my profile.


message 9: by Dee (last edited Dec 27, 2008 03:25AM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Waves hello to everyone :]

I am so excited to have found this group, as I too love "All Things Arthurian."

One of my favorite Arthurian authors is Nancy Mckenzie, she wrote the Queen of Camelot. Her first Arthurian novel is told from Guinevere's point-of-view. I especially like her Guinevere, as she is both strong-willed and level-headed.

Mckenzie also wrote: Grail Prince (the story of Sir Galahad), and Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Essylte.

Dee Marie
Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy


message 10: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Sarah, just got the new translation of The Tain and was reminded of the root for Gawain and The Green Knight. It's the wee Hound Of Ulster up to his old tricks again, here's the wikipedia summary:

Bricriu's Feast
Main article: Fled Bricrenn
The troublemaker Bricriu once incites three heroes, Cúchulainn, Conall Cernach and Lóegaire Búadach, to compete for the champion's portion at his feast. In every test that is set Cúchulainn comes out top, but neither Conall nor Lóegaire will accept the result. Cú Roí mac Dáire of Munster settles it by visiting each in the guise of a hideous churl and challenging them to behead him, then allow him to return and behead them in return. Conall and Lóegaire both behead Cú Roí, who picks up his head and leaves, but when the time comes for him to return they flee. Only Cúchulainn is brave and honourable enough to submit himself to Cú Roí's axe; Cú Roí spares him and he is declared champion.[15:] This beheading challenge appears in later literature, most notably in the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Other examples include the 13th century French Life of Caradoc and the English romances The Turke and Gowin, and The Carle off Carlile.



message 11: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments How ironic,

My friend, who owns a bookstore, just offered this book to me last night. I was unsure if I wanted to add it to my overflowing library. I might have to give her a call and reconsider.

Dee Marie


message 12: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 31, 2008 06:08AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Dee, a word of warning regarding The Tain...it isn't Arthurian, it's one of the cycle of tales that make up the Cuchulainn/Cu Chullain (and numerous other spellings) legends. It's all extreme violence and over the top boasting. Berserk fury and insults. All over a husband and wife's one upmanship and the resulting attempted theft of a bull. The Tain doesn't contain the episode of Bricriu's Feast either. Having said that the Red Branch tales, and those of Finn and the boys are precursors to the early Arthurian stuff. These are the Irish stories which along with the Welsh in (amongst others) The Mabinogion made up the fertile ground on which the seeds of the AngloNorman tales were sown.
A good overview of the Irish stuff (though a bit dated) would be Cuchulain of Muirthemne. Read them and see a bunch of archetypes that resurface in the Arthurian cycle.


message 13: by Dee (last edited Dec 31, 2008 06:38AM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Hi Barbarossa,

Your reasoning is exactly why I originally turned down my friend's offer to give me "first dibs" on The Tain, as I am currently concentrating on adding only Arthurian historical books to my expanding library.

However, I do love the tales of the Celtic Warlord, Cuchulainn. His stories have always fascinated me. After all, to truly understand the Arthurian Legends, there must be an understanding of the ancient Celtics, Romans, and the Greeks.

My personal “Arthurian” library has several shelves dedicated to Druids, Homer, Caesar, and of course to Celtic history, as well as Roman and Greek history and legends.

As you know, Ireland plays an important part of the Arthurian myth; as Wales plays an important part of Merlin’s history.

As to the extreme violence...it was a violent time of history. My Arthurian novel, which is set in 5th century Britain, has many violent moments as well. It was part of the times, shrug.

I appreciate your posting The Tain and information pertaining to the book. As I said, I was waffling on if I should purchase it or not, and your comments piqued my curiously. I am now looking forward to the read.

Thanks so much, and it is very nice to meet you,
Dee Marie


message 14: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 31, 2008 07:19AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Dee, I'm hoping this new translation is a bit less awkward than the Thomas Kinsella one.
Regarding the violence, it's almost cartoonish...warpspasms and very jaggy spears. The Monty Python Black Knight springs to mind...
A good novelisation of the Hound Of Ulster that I enjoyed was The Crow Goddess.



message 15: by Dee (last edited Dec 31, 2008 07:20AM) (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments I will be sure to post a review.

It is snowing like crazy today {and I drive a Mustang}, so it looks like I may not get out until this weekend to pick it up.

Wishing you a most wonderful New Year's Eve.


message 16: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
You folks are posting such good information! I have not read any of the cycle of Cuchulainn, but am determined to read as many of the connected tales (culturally speaking) as I can. And I might remind you that I can't pick up these kinds of good recommendations on the streets these days! :]

Yes, the beheading challenge. How much of this was legend and how much was reality?! Glad you brought up Gawain. I dont think I ever said that I didnt realize until I read the Burton Raffel translation that I realized I love this guy. His reputation shifts throughout the legends so you have to decide who "your" Gawain is basically. But regardless if he is a little cocky or not, he really gets the shaft sometimes -- trudging through wintry Britain after the pesky Green Man (who crashed their party to begin with) AND he married Ragnell for heaven's sake! Of course, it just makes me want to go back for more.

And, yes, I am still in the midst of the wonderful Kevin Crossley-Holland, and just read his version of the Green Knight story within young Arthur de Caldicott's stories. If you haven't read these, please consider them.

Dee, I am heading now to look up your book and see if I can get a copy!

Happy New Year to all.


message 17: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Oh my Sarah, what a wonderful surprise. If you cannot find a copy, please drop me a line and I will send you a signed edition. I am honored that you would be interested in Merlin's tale.

As to Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy...it is based on the original Arthurian storyline. With, of course, a few changes here and there as dictated by Merlin. It is steeped in historical fact blended with classical Arthurian Legends, with a small dose of fantasy. I like to refer to it as Historical Fantasy.

At least ten years of research went into its writing, along with a lifetime of interest in all things Arthurian.

What makes my story unique, is that it explores the ten years of both Merlin and Sir Lot, and their rise to power. It was not written for the YA reader (although older YA readers enjoy the tale), and it does have a lot of violence.

It is also not an Arthurian Romance, although there are first meetings with Merlin and Nimue, Sir Lot and Morgause, and Uther and Igraine. There are some “tender” moments, but nothing overly mushy.

Please note, that I did not join the group to plug my novel. I am just a self-confessed Arthurian addict. It is hard to find anyone local that also enjoys discussing the Arthurian Legends. Most of my friends are into vampires (I can hear you, quit moaning), and although they have all enjoyed my book, their eyes tend to glaze over when I get started on an Arthurian Legends tangent.

Wishing everyone a most wonderful holiday,
Dee Marie


message 18: by Nicky (new)

Nicky (shanaqui) | 146 comments I recently read Ian McDowell's Mordred's Curse and Merlin's Gift. It's actually from Mordred's point of view, and it's not at all like the Arthurian romances -- no Lancelot. I liked Gawain a lot and felt sorry for Arthur. It's a bit... disgusting in places, and the tone of it is quite modern, but I found it interesting!

King Arthur also comes into one of my favourite trilogies, The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. He isn't in the first book, but in the second and third he plays a reasonably big part, along with Lancelot and Guinevere. It's a beautiful trilogy, if you can get into it. I won't sing its praises here just now, methinks, but I think it's worth reading.

Other people have mentioned The Dark is Rising, so I shan't rave about that, either...

I'd better come back to this thread when my to read list isn't 150 books long!


message 19: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Hi Nikki,

Thanks for your recommendations. I am always looking for new books to add to my over-flowing Arthurian shelves.


message 20: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Hey Barbarossa,

I just started reading The Tain yesterday afternoon. Although it is not an "easy read" it is an interesting translation, with a very long introduction.


message 21: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
Dee, I wanted to comment on your earlier mention of Nancy McKenzie. Her writing is beautiful. I know it isnt as hard-hitting in some ways, but she really has a way with characters. I loved the Queen novels, but I still think about Grail Prince. I know it was about Galahad, but I loved the story of Arthur in that book. He became about as human as any legendary character could get. I loved it.


message 22: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments Nancy is a wonderful author and a super nice person too :]


message 23: by Nicky (new)

Nicky (shanaqui) | 146 comments If you want to read The Dark Is Rising sequence, you should know that Over Sea Under Stone comes first, then The Dark is Rising, then Greenwitch, then The Grey King, and then Silver on the Tree.


message 24: by Nicky (new)

Nicky (shanaqui) | 146 comments The first two books aren't that connected, so it doesn't really matter, just know that chronologically Over Sea, Under Stone comes first!


message 25: by Misfit (last edited Jan 27, 2009 08:48AM) (new)

Misfit I recently read Helen Hollick's Arthur trilogy. It's a grittier look at Arthur and without the magic, the grail quest and Lancelot. I did enjoy it, but might not be for all.

The Kingmaking
Pendragon's Banner Book Two
Shadow of the King

I also enjoyed Joan Wolf's The Road to Avalon. A bit different take on the legends, but very good - but have the tissue handy at the end.


message 26: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Nikki, by the sound of things (based on some of your other posts anyway) you may be able to shed some light on Le Morte D'Arthur The Winchester Manuscript. I recently got it as a present and note that it's abridged. I'm going to read it prior to diving into Malory The Life and Times of King Arthur's Chronicler, mainly to refresh my memory of his take on the cycle...I read the 2 volume edition with the Aubrey Beardsley green and black covers (Penguin I think) about 25 years ago...so just a bit rusty on the details. Is the Winchester Manuscript markedly different from the Caxton? Anyone alse have any comments on this?


message 27: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
I have not read both -- I have read only the Modern Library edition based on the 1485 Caxton edition. The introduction discusses the Winchester, which was not known about in modern times until 1934. (You may know all this already.)

You might google Eugene Vinaver, the scholar who did a lot of research and comparison of the Winchester and the Caxton, according to this intro.

In a nutshell, the Modern Library intro says that Caxton's printing is divided into 21 books and the earlier Winchester is 8 books. Caxton also named the whole thing "the death of" when that "title" didnt appear within the Winchester.

This intro implies that there are only a few major text differences throughout.

I think Malory is fascinating. let us know what you think of the Winchester.


message 28: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Feb 10, 2009 04:54AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Anyone read this The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights?
This is a version I'd never heard of. Mentioned on another group I'm on. Haven't read any John Steinbeck myself yet.


message 29: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments I own a copy :]


message 30: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Any good?


message 31: by Dee (new)

Dee Marie (dee_marie) | 61 comments it was ok unfinished
I was a little disappointed.


message 32: by Duntay (last edited Mar 13, 2009 04:09PM) (new)

Duntay | 22 comments Sorry Barbarossa, I seem to be following you again. I followed you here from the Ancient History group..

The University of North Wales at Bangor does an MA in Arthurian Literature:

http://tinyurl.com/dzjsqa

Nice especially to see the bit at the bottom that tells you people have gone on to have careers!

It was once my dream to do that course! I spent a year there as an undergraduate and studied Arthurian literature and loved it. 20 years ago now! I ended up getting sidetracked by archaeology, where Arthur is frowned upon (unless Leslie Alcock was involved).

I didn't see any of Leslie Alcock's books on the bookshelf. Maybe he is a bit too dry?

There is "Arthur's Britain" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/74...
and his excavations at Cadbury and Dinas Powys.



message 33: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Mar 13, 2009 11:53PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Hello again Duntay.
I was looking for his book Arthur's Britain History and Archaeology, Ad 367-634 last time I was in Blackwell's on the South Bridge in Edinburgh, my favorite bookshop...used to be James Thin's but it's still great...a stones throw from Arthur's Seat. Couldn't find it though. Did end up buying a bunch of other stuff:
Arthurian Romances
Tristan With the Surviving Fragments of the 'Tristan of Thomas'
Lancelot of the Lake
A bit off my usual Arthurian track, but I'm stocking up for wallowing in Arthurian stuff after the Dumas binge I'm currently going through.


message 34: by Duntay (last edited Mar 14, 2009 03:05AM) (new)

Duntay | 22 comments I'm surprised they didn't have it Babarossa, a newish edition came out not too long ago. I think it might be Penguin. You can get it off Amazon.

We'll be going up Arthur's Seat one day next week - but that has to do with my husband's Burke and Hare obsession - he wants to see the cave where the little coffin dolls were found.

I wish I had time for an Arthur binge, but I have a dissertation to write this summer. Your purchases sound interesting. I have the Chretien deTroyes myself, but have yet to read it. Maybe a post-dissertation treat.


message 35: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments I prefer the hunt for books and only resort to the interweb when all else fails, may end up going to Amazon after all though.
I remember a pub that used to be in the Cow Gate, "Sneaky Pete's" I think, that had replicas of the faerie coffins in it...a good juke box too. Anyway, hope the weather's good for you, I love the view from the top and the wander up the Crags. Used to regularly end up in the Pear Tree beer garden after the climb...when I lived there in the Olden Days.
Anyway, you may be able to point me in the right direction on this question: Has the mead hall of Mynyddog Mwynfawr ever been located? The castles current position? Heard of anyone doing (or ever doing) work on this?


message 36: by Duntay (new)

Duntay | 22 comments Barbarossa wrote: "I prefer the hunt for books and only resort to the interweb when all else fails, may end up going to Amazon after all though.
I remember a pub that used to be in the Cow Gate, "Sneaky Pete's" I th..."


Thanks for the Sneaky Pete's tip - we'll have a look and let you know if they are still there.

There were some investigations at Edinburgh Castle in the late '80's /Early '90's. The report is actually online:
http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/3121/1/edinb...

Early medieval evidence was disappointingly slight - represented by a comb if I remember correctly, and evidence of a high status diet consisted of deer bones. It didn't put the excavators off thinking it was indeed occupied at the time of the Gododdin. There are some beautiful Roman brooches and some later medieval stuff, so there probably was continuity.

Unfortunately it is one of those sites that has been so built over that any evidence of the old King of the Mountain's mead hall has probably been obliterated




message 37: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Mar 18, 2009 04:44AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Duntay wrote: "I'm surprised they didn't have it Babarossa, a newish edition came out not too long ago. I think it might be Penguin. You can get it off Amazon.

We'll be going up Arthur's Seat one day next week ..."


Duntay, what's the dissertation on? Just being nosey...




message 38: by Bookworm (new)

Bookworm | 2 comments Hallo, just joined. Probably it's a bit of a chutzpah for a newbie like me to jump right in with a comment, but I was rather surprised that nobody mentioned Victor Canning's Arthurian trilogy - "The Crimson Chalice", "The Circle of the Gods" and "The Immortal Wound." I read them ages ago, having borrowed them from the public library and haven't seen them since.


message 39: by Duntay (last edited Mar 18, 2009 03:06PM) (new)

Duntay | 22 comments Duntay wrote: "Barbarossa wrote: "I prefer the hunt for books and only resort to the interweb when all else fails, may end up going to Amazon after all though.
I remember a pub that used to be in the Cow Gate, "S..."

It's a Museum Studies qualification for work (boo). I am going to look at how the Picts are represented in various museums (Depicting the Picts, ha ha)

Just back from our Arthur's Seat trek. It was bracing up there! We couldn't see any plausible caves, I suspect they are more around the Crags.






message 40: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Duntay, have you read From Pictland to Alba Scotland, 789-1070?
If you have, any good?
Looking for anything new on the subject that takes in recent research and you seem to be the person to ask.
Saw it in Blackwell's.


message 41: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Mar 19, 2009 02:15AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Back to the "Arthurs that no one has ever heard of" theme though...
Is the Sopranos a modern telling of the Arthur cycle?
Tony as Arthur; Chris as Mordred; Dr Melfi as Merlin.
Only watching season 4 just now so I'm probably reading too much into it.
Sorry, didn't mean to get all Joseph Campbell.


message 42: by Duntay (new)

Duntay | 22 comments Barbarossa wrote: "Duntay, have you read [b:From Pictland to Alba Scotland, 789-1070|743352|From Pictland to Alba Scotland, 789-1070 (New Edinburgh History of Scotland)|Alex Woolf|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/image..."

No, I have it on my inter library loan list and will let you know. You can read the introduction on Google Book Search.

In a lecture Alex Woolf has put forward the theory of 'Pictland' being located much further north, Dun Nechtan taking place north of the Mouth. I don't know if he addresses it in his book or what his evidence is.Or how he explains the plethora of Pictish stones in Angus.


message 43: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Mar 20, 2009 12:03AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments On a "Northern" note: Malory says that Lot, Gareth and Gawain are Orkadian.
No one I know from there knows anything about them.
Is Orkney just used to mean "from far away"?
Any ideas?
I'm fairly sure Orkney was still under Norse rule in Malory's day.


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul I think the Norse earles of Orkney arrived circa 790 and left circa 1231 when the Scottish kings took over. Malory wrote Morte d'Arthur in 1490's approx.

However, given an earlier Celtic interpretation of Gawain, Mordred etc as Gwalchmai, Meddrod (choose your variant spelling) it is quite likely that the Celtic Orkadians where extant at the time of the original Celtic Arthurian mythos, and Chretien de Troyes and Malory just interpreted it with suitable chivalric flourishes for the Mediaeval period in which they set it.


message 45: by Paul (new)

Paul I'm off to Wales tomorrow for a week - no phones, no Internet - but we do have electricity. So, I'll take the laptop and write a full-length film script in a week! Do some general building and gardening in the afternoons. And some reviewing as well.

Bliss! (But I'll miss you all.) I expect I'll have 9000 emails to page through when I get back ;)


message 46: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 188 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "I'm off to Wales tomorrow for a week - no phones, no Internet - but we do have electricity. So, I'll take the laptop and write a full-length film script in a week! Do some general building and ga..."

Paul, have a great trip and thanks for the interesting item about the Orkney area. I am in the Southern U.S., have a big interest in Early Britain, but not a lot of background. I have been reading some about the Anglo-Saxon period, but not as much about Scotland particularly. You have added to my interest and would like to learn more about that area. Thanks, also, to Barbarossa for bringing up the subject. I also wonder about the Orkney Princes, because they are usually so at the center of the story, particularly in the modern tellings.



message 47: by Nicky (new)

Nicky (shanaqui) | 146 comments How odd, Paul! I'm leaving Wales (very reluctantly) for a week. Tomorrow.


message 48: by Robert (new)

Robert (flagon_dragon) | 28 comments A novel not mentioned here or listed on the bookshelf - until I add it in a minute - is Philip Reeve's Here Lies Arthur. I found it to be an interesting and original Arthur story but not up to the standard of Reeve's best work.


message 49: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 301 comments Paul and Nikki...are you the same person then...like Batman and Bruce Wayne? Never in the same place at the same time?
Sarah, try: Orkneyinga Saga The History of the Earls of Orkney. If memory serves it also goes into the early life of Harald Hardrada when he was a Varangian.


message 50: by Paul (new)

Paul Yes, at the weekend I like to be called Nikki. During the week, Nikki likes to be called Paul.


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