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Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.From BBC Radio 3 Drama on 3:Alfred Lord Tennyson's epic poem The Idylls of the King, narrated by Tim PigottSmith and adapted by Michael Symmons Roberts. Tennyson's poetry is some of the most beautiful I've encountered (admittedly, not saying much, because my acquaintance with poetry is slight): his turns of phrase and the pictures he paints are wonderfully evocative, and there's an eerie mysticism in stories like The Holy Grail Even the fatalism as the idylls begin in spring and descend into a thoroughly gloomy autumn draws you in Of course, since the unifying theme is the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere and the chaos it brings, and since except for the first two stories the idylls are dark as all get out, it's also a depressing read Also, as in many iterations of the Arthurian legend, there are the obvious spiritual parallels drawn between Arthur and Christ that always strike me as singularly suspect.But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge,Clothed with his breath, and looking, as he walk'd,Larger than human on the frozen hills The Passing of Arthur, 349351Then from dawn it seem'd there came, but faintAs from beyond the limit of the world,Like the last echo born of a great cry,Sounds, as if some fair city were one voiceAround a king returning from his wars The Passing of Arthur, 457461 I have read my softcover copy so many times it is falling apart I really need to get a nice, illustrated, hard cover I read this book several times a year And sob hysterically at the end so that I can hardly finish The saddest lines for me are (spoken by Arthur to Guinevere visiting her in the nunnery before the final battle with Modred):Thou hast not made my life so sweet to me,That I the King should greatly care to live;For thou hast spoilt the purpose of my life.The agony in those lines! And her lying there, with her head in the sand at his feet, too ashamaed to even look at him, and him heartbroken, and yet, still he must be king Having just come from battling his best friend and best knight and knowing he rides off to his death It's awful The poetry is not only beautiful, but in such short bursts, Tennyson is able to capture such powerful emotions. Idylls of the King is something I've wanted to read since I was a teenagerthe title, the subject matter, the format all mixed together in my mind to suggest a work of astonishing grace and beauty I might also add that I had a very naïve idea of what literature was capable of at that timewhatever the actual effect that literature might have on the reader, I was under the confused impression that reading classics like this would somehow augment me as a person, in the same way as someone who happens to have a lot of money might think their personal value was increased as well.Suffice it to say that I realize now the only thing that makes someone a better person is what they do rather than what they know; great literature might assist in the decision making process by enlarging one's capacity for empathy, but as trophies on a shelf they don't mean much Taking that into consideration, reading Idylls of the King back when I was a teenager (even assuming I would have finished it) would have been mostly useless, I think It is a work of grace and beauty, but I would never have been able to see that Probably all I would have been able to absorb was the fact that there was a lot less derringdo than I would have expected, and as a result, let the words pass in front of my eyes till I was done.Without some help, that might also have been my experience all these decades later Thankfully, I had Harold Littledale's There are certain books, or authors, that don't hold up to modern political correctness Mark Twain is one of them; Huckleberry Finn is constantly under threat to be banned from American schools Robert E Howard's protagonists routinely face villains who embody the worst of early twentieth century stereotypes But Tennyson, in Idylls of the King comes under fire for his female characters in his series of epic poems concerning King Arthur and his valorous knights What is not generally kept in mind, is that his source is a 15th century nobleman who was serving time in prison for many crimes, one of which was rape Tennyson might not have had to rub it in, but that's the time where Arthur comes from, where women had two roles: Mary or Eve If a woman wasn't a nun, then she was sinful Another facet of this story that seems to be overlooked is that Arthur is not a likable character When Arthur establishes the court of Camelot, he brings to himself men he believes shares his vision of women adoration, idyllic sporting, and the occasional quest Some knights do hold to this life, but others, like Tristram and Guinevere, are human beings; it's unreasonable for a saint to hold all to his own morals Arthur's reproach of Guinevere shows that he married her to win a crown, not to love her like the flesh and blood woman that she was It's only when he's dying does he wonder that it might not be possible for all to live like him.Despite personal views on whether or not Tennyson hated women like no other person, this is an exceptional take on the Arthurian legend, and the Penguin addition contains interesting notes compiled from not just Tennyson, but the author's son as well Highly reccomended! This book was every bit as beautiful as I could imagine I had previously loved and read The Lady of Shalott Idylls, however, is a testament to his love and knowledge of Arthurian legend You'll likely walk away from this book with lots of favorite passages And you might fall in love with the characters of this legend all over again.Lancelot a dying fire of madness in his eyesPercivale Had heaven appear'd so blue, nor earth so green, For all my blood danced in me, and I knew That I should light up on the Holy Grail.Arthur my Lancelot, thou in whom I have most joy and most affiance, for I know What thou hast been in battle by my side I love reading Malory's M d'A, but Tennyson's poetry really wraps heartand soul around his interpretation of Malory These poems were also another living dedication to Tennyson's lost friend Arthur Hallam.Fans of the Arthur legend shouldn't put off reading Idylls any longer! As usual, I thought right up there the short story of Balin, who is to blame for his own tragedy ('My violences, my violences!') Darker than I had expected and gutsier I think I decided to read this at last after I saw a book on Tennyson's battle poetry How he wrote 54 battle poems and had a genuine feel for the 'heroic ethos' of ancient fiction to which he was devoted Fair enough, I thought Tried a couple of short ones: his Boadicea is as bloody as she came, and I throbbed to 'The Revenge: a Ballad of the Fleet' I even felt the tribute in his Ode on Wellington I think he's a gorgeous poet, on the whole, although I'd make cuts The guy can write Arthur is his hero, and not Lancelot This isn't the courtly love version, but the version where a selfindulgent love corrupts a heroic kingdom Arthur's certainly a fighting king against pagans Give him a pagan, he can let loose without qualms and soar with the sword The comedy can be fauxmedieval I mean you think of those silly films in tights, but perhaps comedy wasn't his forte I expect tragedy is, and melancholy.Again, I'll have Balin, ten pages of him, gutwrenchingly tragic and very darkly done But I'd say that about Malory's Balin Which proves to me Tennyson was awake to the old authentic stuff, though he's often condemned for Victorian. Just finished this one for my Victorian Literature seminar I will admit that the prospect of reading a 300 page long poem was daunting, but well, well worth it I have always admired Tennyson's work This one is a bit different though The language is not as resonant, but the imagery is spectacularly beautiful Also, lots of lovely moments of universal truth within the story They pop out of nowhere sometimes The characters have a liquid, uncertain quality, bringing a whole lot of ambiguity to this story that has been told so many times The reader is asked over and over to suspend disbelief, not in order to understand, but to become immersed in the imaginary and the inevitable loss of boundaries Over and over again we are fooled into believing the quickly dissipating fantasy of Tennyson's imagery Why does Tennyson do this? I feel he did this in order to highlight the vain search for the truth of who we are and how others see us We need to allow the mist of our emotions to yield and dissipate a little into order to see the truth of the reality of our lives Beautifully composed, showing King Arthur in an entirely new light 5 stars “The city is builtTo music, therefore never built at all,And therefore built forever.”Ah, Tennyson! It feels like coming home This book is music to me. ^Pdf ⇶ Idylls of the King ☂ Alternate cover edition of ISBN: ; ISBN: Written in the middle of his career, Idylls of the King is Tennyson's longest and most ambitious work Reflecting his lifelong interest in Arthurian themes, his primary sources were Malory's Morte d'Arthur and the Welsh Mabinogion For him, the Idylls embodied the universal and unending war between sense and soul, and Arthur the highest ideals of manhood and kingship; an attitude totally compatible with the moral outlook of his age Poetically, Tennyson was heir to the Romantics, and Keats's influence in particular can be seen clearly in much of his work Yet Tennyson's style is undoubtedly his own and he achieved a delicacy of phrase and subtlety of metrical effect that are unmatched This edition, based on the text authorized by Tennyson himself, contains full critical apparatus