The Once and Future King by T.H. White propelled me further into a world where reality and fantasy melded into truth about humanity. A disturbing and tragic truth. This masterpiece is the beginning from my last post, Books & Beginnings II. It starts happily enough. Disney even adapted it into The Sword and the Stone. I was little prepared for the tales that came after young Wart became King Arthur. I had not, in my young mind, conceived of such tragedy as wrought by Mordred and the love of Guinevere and Lancelot.
T.H. White’s masterpiece was rendered from Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur which inspired Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Hence, my fascination with “Idylls”. It also began my love affair with poetry.
Next up, a book I read when it was practically brand new to the shelves. It had only been out for four years when my mother handed it to me and bade me to read. It was a thick volume and I took it, skeptically. I was nine and had decided I was done with anything childish. This book seemed to many pages of text to be what my mother claimed. It was such an odd sort of novel. It was not fantasy nor a mystery or a thriller. And it certainly was no child’s story. This story transcended all expectations and my admitted limited experience of literature. And forty years later, it still does. There are precious few books that can claim the imagination of this classic. Can you guess it?
The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and oak tree roots. On the other side of the fence, the upper part of the field was filled with rabbit holes.