T.H.White and King Arthur literature

T.H. White was born in Bombay, India, in 1906. When he was six he was sent to England to begin his education. Thereafter, Britain became his home.

In 1928 T.H.White graduated from Queens' College, Cambridge, and began to write. By the mid-1930s he had published several books. T.H.White became head of the English Department at Stowe school, but left when he was 30 to concentrate on his writing.

Malory's Morte d'Arthur was apparently his inspiration to write his own interpretation of the legend of King Arthur. The Once and Future King is a tetralogy consisting of four works: The Sword in the Stone, The Queen of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight, and The Candle in the Wind. It appeals to audiences of all ages and uses humour to help acquaint the reader with the Arthurian legend. T.H.White believed that people are basically good but did not necessarily know how to channel this to achieve a positive result in life.

The first volume, The Sword in the Stone, appeared in 1938.

The Witch in the Wood, later called The Queen of Air and Darkness,was published in 1939

The Ill-Made Knight in 1940. The books are a mix of satire, grace, wit, comedy and fantasy with tragedy thrown in.

In 1958 the omnibus Once and Future King appeared. This brought together three previous books plus an unpublished fourth, The Candle in the Wind. The book was adapted for the stage as Camelot in 1960 and the film Camelot in 1967. The Sword in the Stone, another adaptation, was released as a Walt Disney film in 1963.

T.H.White died in Greece in 1964. The Book of Merlyn, published posthumously in 1977, is the final book of The Once and Future King set by T.H.White.

King Arthur in Literature