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Once And Future King Paperback – Jan 16 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jan 16 1997
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 825 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (Jan. 16 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006483011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006483014
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'Magnificent and tragic, and irrestible mixture of gaiety and pathos' The Sunday Times 'This ambitious work will long remain a memorial to an author who is at once civilized, learned, witty and humane' Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Terence Hanbury White was born in 1906 in India, where his father was a member of the Indian Civil Service, and educated at Cheltenham and Cambridge.

The author of poems, books about hunting and other sports, and some detective stories, he found fame and success with The Sword in the Stone (1939), the brilliantly imaginative retelling of King Arthur’s early life. He continued the story in The Witch in the Wood (1940) and The Ill-Made Knight (1941). In 1940, he wrote what was believed to be the final volume of Arthurian saga, The Candle in the Wind. The four books were revised and published in 1958 as a single volume titled The Once and Future King.

A further manuscript concluding the story was, however, discovered among T.H. White’s papers at the University of Texas at Austin after the author’s death in 1964. This is The Book of Merlyn, written in 1941, the book that completes a series described by The Sunday Times as ‘magnificent’.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book, or rather these four books, are a masterpiece! T.H. White has written a book that has expertly blended both pathos and humour, and has done an incredible service to the Arthurian legends. Never has a book made me laugh so hard, and cry so fiercely as this one. Never have I been more taken aback by the great insight and beauty of the writing. He masterfully builds to a crescendo and masterfully winds down from there. The final paragraph is the best ending to a novel which I have ever read, and was crying tears caught between the two extremes of joy and despair.

Get this book, now! You will not regret it. I never thought I could love any book more than the Lord of the Rings, but then i read the Once and Future king.
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By A Customer on July 10 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must say, the first time I perused this particular selection, I was bored to tears by it. A high school student forced to do as such, I found reading through White's tome of knights and adventures to be extremely tiresome. It was only on my second go through, some years later, that I recognized this work as one of the best pieces of literature to grace my library.
T. H. White goes to great depths to properly craft his characters, and remains true to his depictions throughout the five books comprising his depiction of the Arthurian legend. All the famous figures - Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and Merlyn, to name a few - are given a new lease on life, and for the first time, we are given a good look at their personalities, from fears to secret desires. White reminds us through his ingenuity and silver tongue that even the greatest of people are fallible, as witnessed in the fall of Lancelot. The reader is given, for the first time that I can recall, a deep look into the thoughts of each character, and what drives their actions throughout the course of each novel.
White's derivations from traditional Arthur also give his work a strikingly original air, casting old characters in occassionally new roles while still largely following the legend. His work with Merlyn struck me as particularly interesting: a man travelling backwards in time, who knows already the sad fate of Arthur yet who does his best to steer Arthur in the proper direction. Of special note is Merlyn's outlook on 'might' versus 'right', and the struggles Arthur has with this issue throughout the tenure of his reign.
On the whole, it is well worth the read, especially if one is a fan of the Arthurian legend. My only complaint comes in the scope of White's narrative; he is, at times, very long-winded, supplying several expansive passages and descriptions that are rather superfluous, and excessive. If you can suffer such things, however, I would highly recommend this brilliant story.
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Format: Hardcover
The once and future king, by T.H.White, is the tale of one mans attempt to deter the brutal dream of dictatorship, violence and dominance.It is a modern classic which provides a unique potrayal of the Arthurian ideology within its vast account of the struggle against the inevitable dark, and the various quandaries and qualities of which the human condition is comprised. A fitting appropriation of Thomas Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur', it is a rambling amalgamation of five novels with a precise objective- to illustrate the brutality and futility of belligerence.Witty, perceptive and superbly crafted in Whites formidible and delectable grasp of the English language, it is a glorious and intensely passionate literary piece which grasps and delightfully questions the nature and fabric of human kind.
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Format: Paperback
One commentator once said, 'T.H. White has a genius for recreating the physical conditions of the past; the child who reads him will learn far more than all the historians and archaeologists could tell of what England was like in the Middle Ages.' This tale, 'The Once and Future King', is a classic of English literature, crossing the ages to be a tale both of modern times in the language and treatment of characters as well as the misty, mystical past with its subject matter.
Like many classics, this book inspired both great love and great irritation. It is a classic retelling of the Arthurian legends - White does not add to the legends with his own additions, but rather sticks closely to manuscripts and stories that have gone before, most notably Thomas Mallory's 'Le Morte d'Arthur', also considered a classic. The book is divided into four major sections: 'The Sword in the Stone', 'The Queen of Air and Darkness', 'The Ill-Made Knight', and 'The Candle in the Wind'. The overall tone of Arthur's legend goes from hopefulness to tragedy, as even the final conflicts become unresolved, hence the idea that Arthur will come again.
The title of this work comes from the supposed inscription on Arthur's tomb: HIC IACET ARTORIVS REX QVONDAM REXQVE FVTVRVS. The sweep goes from Arthur's childhood to the final battle with his son Mordred. Like many works, this is both a piece of entertainment as well as a political commentary (think 'The Wizard of Oz' here) - Mordred's thrashers are Nazi stormtroopers, for example. This book was the product of the time just before World War II. Merlin's preaching of just war theory (the only acceptable reason for going to war is to prevent another war) is apropos of the time.
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