King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources.
The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century History of the Kings of Britain. However, some Welsh and Breton tales and poems relating the story of Arthur date from earlier than this work; in these works, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn. How much of Geoffrey's History (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown
1a. An Arthurian Miscellany - Alfred Lord Tennyson
A collection of works that explore the rich and evocative legend of King Arthur. The exploits of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table have been a staple of British literature through the centuries, drawing together themes of pagan wizardry, the search for the Holy Grail, chivalry and of course romance
1b. Idylls of the King - Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Idylls of the King, published between 1856 and 1885, is a cycle of twelve narrative poems by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson which retells the legend of King Arthur, his knights, his love for Guinevere and her tragic betrayal of him, and the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom. Individual poems detail the deeds of various knights, including Lancelot, Geraint, Galahad, and Balin and Balan, and also Merlin and the Lady of the Lake
1c. The Falcon - Alfred Lord Tennyson (1st play in One Act Play Collection 006)
2. The Age of Chivalry, or Legends of King Arthur; The Mabinogeon, and The Hero Myths of the English Race - Thomas Bulfinch
The Bulfinch version of myth, presents the myths in their literary versions, without unnecessary violence, sex, psychology or ethnographic information. The Bulfinch myths are an indispensable guide to the cultural values of the American 19th century.
3. King Arthur and His Knights - Maude L. Radford
A collection of King Arthur’s adventures, from his ascent to King of Britain to his death. This book includes some of the crucial Arthurian legends about Sir Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Queen Guinevere, and the search for the Holy Grail.
4. Stories of King Arthur’s Knights Told to the Children - Mary MacGregor
A collection of Arthurian tales retold for children
5. Stories of King Arthur and His Knights - U. Waldo Cutler
Stories of King Arthur and His Knights. Retold from Malory’s “Morte dArthur
6. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Anonymous
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th Century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. In the tale, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior who is completely green, from his clothes and hair to his beard and skin. The “Green Knight” offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts, and beheads him in one blow, only to have the Green Knight stand up, pick up his head, and remind Gawain to meet him at the appointed time. The story of Gawain’s struggle to meet the appointment and his adventures along the way demonstrate the spirit of chivalry and loyalty.
7. King Arthur - A Drama - Joseph Comyns Carr - A retelling of the classic legend of King Arthur, Guinevere & Sir Lancelot.
8. Tales Of King Arthur And The Round Table - Edward Lang - The tales of King Arthur and his Knights are of Celtic origin. The Celts were the people who occupied Britain at the time when the history of the country opens… It is believed that King Arthur lived in the sixth century, just after the Romans withdrew from Britain… the stories came to be handed down from father to son, in Brittany (whose people are of the same family as the Welsh) as well as in Wales and England… [story-tellers altered the stories to suit their times down through the centuries] …and so in their altered and historically inaccurate form they have reached us at the present day. …Sir Thomas Malory obtained the material for his “Morte d’Arthur,” which was written in 1470. This is the most famous of the early books of Arthurian legend, and it is from the “Morte d’Arthur” that most of the stories in this book are taken…. The language throughout has been modified with a view to making the legends more easy of study.
9. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - [Version 2] King Arthur lies at Camelot upon a Christmas-tide and will not eat until he hears tell of a marvel of knightly feats. In among them rides the Green Knight and challenges any knight of the Table Round to the beheading game; one of them, he suggests, can strike off his head and, at the end of a year, if he survives, he will then strike off his be header’s. Gawain accepts the challenge and strikes off his head; the Green Knight gathers up his head and charges him to meet him at the year's end at the Knight's Green Chapel to receive the fatal blow. What betides him on his journey, how he falls into temptation yet fails to fall, is the subject of this all too human tale of an ordinary man, as he come to discover, caught up in a tale he cannot fathom of ritual and romance.