I love it when librarians stumble across new twists to old tales. Atlas Obscura invited me down the Arthur and Merlin rabbit hole this morning, and I delightedly dove in. I might have to climb out choking on the cost of the tome promising to reveal all the secrets of the manuscript fragments but perhaps my local or state library can help.
Growing up, I devoured Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy, revisiting it on at least an annual basis. Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series were revisited on an annual basis, and then read to my young son, as well. I discovered Patricia Keneally in college (she tacked Morrison on later) and her Tales of Aeron, Tales of Arthur and the Keltiad Books followed me along through young adult years. There was just something so very appealing with the notion of my ancestors fleeing Christianity and heading out into space — from whence they came, mind you!
As a young mother, I discovered Avalon: The Return of King Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead. Truthfully, his Pendragon Cycle did nothing for me, but this version — this modern, gripping version of Arthur’s return shepherded by a seemingly ageless Merlin — pleased me greatly. (I’m still waiting for a sequel, Mr. Lawhead . . . pretty please — a returned King Arthur would certainly have his work cut out for him in today’s world.)
King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and the knights of the round table lend themselves to so many movies, some pretty “mehhh”, some intriguing and some are downright hilarious — it’s just a flesh wound, right?
Some are more thematic than “true to the myth” — but perhaps all the more poignant for that. Robin Williams’ search for peace and Jeff Bridges’ search for redemption in The Fisher King come together in a gripping search for the Holy Grail itself. I don’t care what Roger Ebert said — I loved it.
And of course, what about the classic children’s Disney feature length cartoon, The Sword in the Stone? MovieFone staff provide nine reasons why this cartoon is the definitive King Arthur movie. Check out reasons 5 & 6 — my personal favorites. You?
Stories that stand the test of time are treasures. Show you care and remember to share with friends and family. We need all the inspiration, hope and laughs we can get these days. Peace and health to all.