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Idylls of the King: The Coming of Arthur by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Flos Regum Arthurus - Joseph of Exeter. Idylls of the King, published between 1859 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892; Poet Laureate from 1850) 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.