ABC-CLIO

Arthurian Writers

A Biographical Encyclopedia

by Laura Cooner Lambdin, ed., Robert Thomas Lambdin, ed.

 

Chronologically arranged entries on more than 30 writers from the Middle Ages to the present trace the pervasive influence of Arthurian legend on world literature.

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November 2007

Greenwood

Pages 424
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics The Arts/World Literature

King Arthur is perhaps the central figure of the medieval world, and the lore of Camelot has captivated literary imaginations from the Middle Ages to the present. Included in this volume are extended entries on more than 30 writers who incorporate Arthurian legend in their works. Arranged chronologically, the entries trace the pervasive influence of Arthurian lore on world literature across time. Entries are written by expert contributors and discuss such writers as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Margaret Atwood. Each entry provides biographical information, a discussion of the author's use of Arthurian legend and contribution to the Arthurian literary tradition, and a bibliography of primary and secondary material. The volume begins with an introductory overview and concludes with suggestions for further reading.

The central figure of the medieval world, King Arthur has captivated literary imaginations from the Middle Ages to the present. This book includes extended entries on more than 30 writers in the Arthurian tradition. Arranged chronologically and written by expert contributors, the entries trace the pervasive influence of Arthurian legend from the Middle Ages to the present.

Each entry provides biographical information, a discussion of the writer's use of Arthurian legend and contribution to the Arthurian literary tradition, and a bibliography of primary and secondary material. The volume begins with an introductory overview and closes with a discussion of Arthurian lore in art, along with suggestions for further reading. Students will gain a better understanding of the Middle Ages and the lasting significance of the medieval world on contemporary culture.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"This work is an easily accessible volume of literary biographies of Arthurian writers from Gildas (c. 490-570 CE) to Margaret Atwood (b. 1939). The editors have selectively chosen some of the major contributors to Arthurian fiction, from the medieval greats such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Sir Thomas Malory, to more modern writers such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and the comparatively underrated Mary Stewart. The introduction offers an overview of the Arthurian story and its development through the ages, and an appended (if completely tangential) chapter on Arthurian art. Each entry is necessarily brief (there are 34 entries in 363 pages), but they do detail the author's life, writings, Arthuriana, and influence on the development of the Arthurian story. Some authors earn more space than others, but the encyclopedia's contributors provide good bibliographies of primary and secondary readings. The entry on Malory, for example, does a good job of detailing the academic discourse about who he was and what he wrote, and cites the major editions of his works and the essential secondary resources to begin further study. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers."—Choice

"This guide will support substantial investigations of Arthurian literature in academic and public libraries."—Lawrence Looks at Books

"This volume is recommended for upper level high school or university students and their instructors seeking a deeper understanding of Arthurian legends throughout history."—Doug's Student Reference Room

"...an excellent collection of essays regarding writers who have employed Arthur or associated individuals and related themes in their own literary works...Each chapter contains a respectable biography, and good coverage of the writer’s entire literary opus, particularly addressing those works in which Arthur and others are present...The chapter titled 'Arthurian Art' provides an excellent overview of the artistic representation of Arthur and related themes found in sculpture, stained glass, decorative boxes, metalwork, tiles, wall hangings, illuminated manuscripts, and much more...The Lambdins’ latest exceptional volume should be in academic and public libraries."—ARBA

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