Roger Lancelyn Green
KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
The story King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table was written by Roger Lancelyn Green. He became interested in myths and legends at an early age. His education at school, was interrupted by many kinds of illnesses but he read all legends he could find. The mostly influence for him was Andrew Lang, the Victorian compiler and presenter of fairy stories. Later after he studied at Oxford he became a presenter of traditional stories himself.
But writing was not the only job of Green. He acted as Noodler, the pirate in Peter pan, and he was also a schoolmaster at his old college Oxford. But from 1946 onwards he wrote many books, i.e.: biographies of his favourite authors, but his most famous books, are the retelling of some traditional stories, including King Arthur.
Green never only tried to write the stories he also tried to bring light into the confusing of legends.
The story is divided into four books: how King Arthur became a monarch; some adventures of his knights; the search of the Holy Grail and the last battle where Arthur died. These four books are divided themselves into many chapters. The story itself was told many times. R. L. Green simply wrote a kind of retelling. The book was not written by one Author, many Author's worked on this book and also some middle English poems are included e.g.: the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. But the main author Green followed was Sir Malory. The story plays in England in the early middle age.
After Uther Pendragon's death, Merlin the druid, forms a stone and in it a sword. On this sword is written that anyone who could pull it out of the stone would be the new king of England. After many years, the young Arthur, the secretly son of Pendragon, pulls this magical sword out of the stone, so he is the new king of England. Together with Merlin he built makes a round table, where only the best knights of England should sit there. So more and more knights come to be a knight of the table, and each of them has his own adventures.
After many years the last knight comes to the court of Arthur, to Camelot. The holy knight Sir Galahad, the son of Sir Lancelot. With his coming all knights ride around whole Europe for the search of the holy grail of Jesus Christ. Only four knights see the grail: Sir Lancelot, Sir Parcivale, Sir Bors de Gannis and Sir Galahad.
After the grail is found the last battle is near for the round table. In this battle many knights die and with them King Arthur, his nephew Sir Gawain and also the wicked son of King Arthur and his sister Morgana le Fay, Mordred.
King Arthur is buried at Avalon, the secret island of the druids and damsels.
I think that all knights are very important for the ending of this book, but the real main character are King Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain and Percivale. Every knight has his own chapter in this book. Lancelot is one of the best knights at Camelot, he also is the best friend of Arthur. But his love to the Queen makes him to be a traitor. Only in the end he comes and tries to rescue his friend Arthur, but he was to late.
The best known adventure of Gawain is when he fights against the Green Knight, who cannot be wounded. But as lucky he is the Green Knight is not bad, he only wants Gawain to pass the three test of him. Gawain passes well. Unfortunately he dies in the end of a fresh broken out wound, which Lancelot gave him once.
Sir Percivale was one of the three knights how ever were allowed to drink from the Holy Grail. He and his wife are the keeper of Carbonek ,the holy castle, where the spear and the other artefacts lie. After their death their son Loherangrin becomes King of the Castle Carbonek, but that is not mentioned in the book, it is a own story. Also the adventures of Sir Percivale were written in a book with him as the main character.
There are also many other knights; for instance: Galahad, Gaheris, and also the story of Tristram and Isolde is written in this retelling. But they are not important for the ending of the book, except Sir Galahad.
Sir Galahad is the holy knight of god. His life is only for god. When he and the to other knights drink from the Holy Grail, his soul is flying into the heaven.
The others die in the last battle or formally in the story.
THE THEME OF THIS BOOK:
The author tried to clear the myth of King Arthur and the Round Table. There are two sides of knights in the book: the knights of the Round Table, who are the model of chivalry and honour, and the knights of Mordred, who are exactly the difference of the other knights. They are wicked and in the end they are the death of the Round Table.
The book also mentions the confrontation between the Christian church and the old druids and mistrels, who pray to the nature and live on the secret island of Avalon. The Christians chase away the druids and damsels, who flee to Avalon and who are still living there.
The main theme of this book is the live and the adventures of the knights and the King of Camelot and the search for the Holy Grail.
MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:
I bought this book because I have to read some book for my English lessons. First I did not like to read it, but after a few chapters it is really interesting, and so I was glad to read it. Also I hoped that I could increase in my English skill.
Besides I like to read stories of knights and kings, like Robin Hood or Avalon.
I think that Roger Lancelyn Green wrote his stories to show the old legends and to entertain people, because today you would first sit in the front of the TV - screen before you (have to) read a book.