I think Mallory was the first written down version we have of the stories, rather than that he was the original. If the historic Arthur died in 537 (so they say), then stories evolved for 800-900 years befor eMallory got his hands on them. As far as I know, Mallory is the one who added the affair of Lancelot and Guenivere to the tale. I'm not a huge Mallory fan, even though I have to acknowlege that we owe him a huge debt for writing it down.
I have Tolkien's version of Sir Gawain and the Green knight.
I love the candlelight aspect. Apparently, in the middle ages, Arthur's birthday was considered to be December 21 (the shortest night of the year), so the candle light angle really ties in.
I haven't actually done a lot of modern reading about "inspired by Arthur and Camelot, etc" books. I made the mistake of years ago reading MZB's book without really knowing the whole story. To this day, some aspects of the whole saga seem "wrong" to me in their "cannonical" versions because they are different from what MZB wrote.
I didn't even bother putting people like Monty Python into this poll because their movie was so silly that I didn't think it changed anything for anyone. I was trying to think of people who really helped shape the way we view Arthur and the whole sage today and these 3 seemed to be the ones that lept out at me.
Ooh! The version of Green Knight I have was edited by Tolkien! I am struggling through it, haven't picked it up in awhile. The olde English I am still learning how to read, and I lost my link to an Olde English dictionary online.
Mists of Avalon was an amazing book, and I do re-read that one from time to time. She really focused on the mystical aspects, and I love th way she writes/wrote. Bernard Cornwell's books is actually a retelling of the legend of Arthur from the perspective of one of his knights, named Derfel. It is amazing, and really depicts the struggle between Christianity and Pagans well, without getting preachy.
he also does one on Stonehenge that is unbelievable.
Yes. on the 21st! Gosh that is Friday! *headdesk*
I have a "Arthur book of Days" that I usually pull out and flip through on that day. One year I did a filmfest, where I watched everything campy, good, or silly for Arthur movies. Excalibur, that one with Sean Connery and Richard Gere, of course Monty Python, another one I can't remember the name of... all in good fun. Someday maybe I'll visit Tintagel and dream. :)
One thing I love about this legend is that it still endures today, and is as strong as it was when Mallory set it to paper, and added the romance!
Any suggestions for food? Nothing makes a good family tradtion like specific foods.
Hmmm... I would suggest maybe a roasted chicken, with potatoes, carrots, some nice home made bread, and of course wine (or juice) in very pretty chalice-like cups. Or you could go with a roast beef. Easy to cook, pop it in slow cooker or oven and let it do its thing! Its simple, and would be somewhat traditional-type food, no? Rabbit too, but not as easy to come by and lots of preparation. Cabbage was a traditional food back then, a cabbage salad with raisins or something might be fun to add in.
Beer was also traditional, or mead perhaps.
A dessert with apples?
I thought of doing something with apples. Isle of apples and all of that. Oooh - mead would be good. I'm not sure if the LCBO would carry it.
I thought brave Sir Robin was real. I feel so disillusioned and hurt now.
I think he was more apocryphal. I believe in some versions he married the tooth fairy and they bred unicorns.
You are correct. Mallory gets so much credit for being the first to codify it. I forgot about him.
What Malory is credited with by scholars is being the first to gather all or most of the current stories of his time into English print. In the fifteenth century most of the written Arthurian works that survive today had for centuries been produced in France (including the romances of Chretien de Troyes, who seems to have invented Lancelot). That's why Malory keeps referring to his source as "the Frensshe book"; most of his work is a retelling of the Old French Vulgate cycle, also known as the Lancelot-Grail cycle, of romances from the twelfth century (shortly after Chretien wrote). There were some works in English, and Malory made use of some of them too. But the influence of Malory's work is that it was a compendium, and it was in English, and it was one of the first English works to be mass-produced by a printing press.
Ah yes, Cretien! Me too I forgot about him! We are always inundated with Mallory as the first popular telling, and the older versions get pushed aside, since his was so very swashbuckling *grin*... That and the printing press, eh? Makes it so much easier.
Do you know where I could get a copy of Cretien's de Troy's script? Is it even (re)printed or online anywhere? I have never read it, believe it or not, and would love to at some point.