Elliott, Andrew B.R. (2017) Medievalism. In: Handbook of Arthurian romance: King Arthur’s Court in medieval European literature. De Gruyter Reference . De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, pp. 293-306. ISBN 9783110440614

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Book 21 of Malory’s Le Morte Darthur contains the by now famous account of the fatal wounding of Arthur and his journey to Avalon. As any Arthurian scholar well knows, despite the meticulously detailed descriptions of other key elements elsewhere in the story, including battles, weaponry, clothing, travels and topology, here Malory coyly omits any explicit narration of the king’s death. Instead, we are given only a mere nod towards Arthur’s potential return in the claim that “many men say that there is written upon his tomb this verse: hic iacet Arthurus, Rex Quondam, Rexque Futuris”. (1996, bk. 21, chapter VII)
Although the predicted return of Arthur today remains unfulfilled (his periodic ‘rediscovery’ by enthusiastic amateurs notwithstanding), his postmedieval legacy has seen him enjoy more longevity than perhaps any other medieval figure. Certainly, in terms of literature alone, the Arthurian legend has seen more, and more frequent, returns in postmedieval society than at any time during the Middle Ages itself. As Beverly Taylor and Elisabeth Brewer observe, “Arthur returned to English literature after more than 300 years with an intensity remarkable for both the quantity and quality of the works produced” (1983, 15, emphasis mine). The landscape of postmedieval Arthuriana is indeed remarkable, and one rarely has to scratch too far below the surface of modern Arthuriana to find the traces of his medieval forebear, either as a direct allusion or else as an oblique reference to names, places, objects or quests.
As a fundamental part of that postmedieval reincarnation, the Arthurian revival of the nineteenth century – as is well documented elsewhere – was characterised by a massive, extensive and furious rewriting of Arthurian legend.

Keywords:King Arthur, Arthurian Studies, medievalism, medieval studies, Middle Ages, television studies, video game studies
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:29505
Deposited On:14 Nov 2017 13:35

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