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Idylls of the King (THE GREAT CLASSICS LIBRARY)
     

Idylls of the King (THE GREAT CLASSICS LIBRARY)

3.7 23
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
 

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Idylls of the King, published between 1856 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems which retells the legend of King Arthur, his knights, his love for Guinevere and her tragic betrayal of him, and the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom. The whole work recounts Arthur's attempt and failure to lift up mankind and create a perfect kingdom, from his coming to power

Overview

Idylls of the King, published between 1856 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems which retells the legend of King Arthur, his knights, his love for Guinevere and her tragic betrayal of him, and the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom. The whole work recounts Arthur's attempt and failure to lift up mankind and create a perfect kingdom, from his coming to power to his death at the hands of the traitor Mordred. Individual poems detail the deeds of various knights, including Lancelot, Geraint, Galahad, and Balin and Balan, and also Merlin and the Lady of the Lake. There is little transition between Idylls, but the central figure of Arthur links all the stories. The poems were dedicated to the late Albert, Prince Consort.

Tennyson based his retelling primarily on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and the Mabinogion, but with many expansions, additions, and several adaptations, a notable example of which is the fate of Guinevere. In Malory she is sentenced to be burnt at the stake but is rescued by Lancelot; in the Idylls Guinevere flees to a convent, is forgiven by Arthur, repents, and serves in the convent until she dies. Tennyson amended the traditional spellings of several names to fit the metre.

The Idylls are written in blank verse. Tennyson's descriptions of nature are derived from observations of his own surroundings, collected over the course of many years.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012636089
Publisher:
Revenant
Publication date:
02/10/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
238 KB

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Meet the Author

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (1809 – 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language.

Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, "In the valley of Cauteretz", "Break, Break, Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and fellow student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a cerebral hemorrhage before they were married. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, Ulysses, and Tithonus. During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.

Tennyson wrote a number of phrases that have become commonplaces of the English language, including: "Nature, red in tooth and claw", "'Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten, / Because my heart is pure", "Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers", and "The old order changeth, yielding place to new".
He is the second most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.

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The Idylls of the King 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Maddlebuggs More than 1 year ago
Hey guys! Well, I had to read "The Idylls of the King" for school, along with "The Once and Future King." Both of these books are about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. "The Idylls of the King" is a collection of 13 tales, which are written in Old English. It is hard to understand at times, but it is a book full of themes, and I really enjoyed it. The MobileReference format is beautiful and is is printed in the poetic, line-by-line style. Over all, if you are up for a challenging, yet good read, I highly recommend this. By the way, I am a 9th grader, and I loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The wording and style is difficult to understand at times. Knowledge of the people, places, customs of the period might be necessary for clarity.
bibliophile101 More than 1 year ago
Tennyson was amazing and this is one of his best works. Ballad poetry at its finest. An elegant, lyrical painting with words...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This lyric poem/book was assigned for my high school English class, but was actually interesting and better reading than I expected. It challenged my vocabulary in a good way - not too overwhelming!
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Find another version this one didnt scan