T.H. WHITE (May 29, 1906 – January 17, 1964)
"for love can exist with hatred, each preying on the other, and this is what gives it its greatest fury.” (The Once And Future King)
TH White is the author of the books, The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlin.
The novel The Once and Future King, published in 1958, is wildly seen as the best of the modern reinterpretations of medieval Arthurian legend.
The society that White creates in TOAFK is said to be what the author considers the most ideal. The book is made up of four different parts, with the first three having been published before and during the Second World War. World War II greatly influences the political landscape of the book particularly in the way that Arthur tries to govern his kingdom.
TOAFK important place in 20th century literature should not be underestimated. Fantasy historian Lin Carter wrote in 1973, "...the single finest fantasy novel written in our time, or for that matter, ever written, is, must be, by any conceivable standard, T. H. White's The Once and Future King. I can hardly imagine that any mature, literate person who has read the book would disagree with this estimate. White is a great writer."
A Final part to the tale, 'The Book Of Merlyn' was originally put forward for publication in 1941 but was never included as part of The Once And Future King although parts of it did find themselves in the final editions of the previous books. 'The Book Merlyn was not published until after White's death in 1964.
TOAFK is often referred to in modern popular culture and perhaps never more so than in both the X-Men comics and later films. In the movies the character Magneto makes several references to the book. Patrick Stewart's character, Xavier, in the second X-Men movie is seen reading the novel to students and in the comics TOAFK is Xavier's favourite novel, as he is said to identify himself as a teacher like Merlyn.
Walt Disney made an adaptation of 'The Sword In The Stone' in 1963 and the musical 'Camelot' which was later made into a film, is also based on TOAFK. Warner Bros. are now making an adaptation of the book set for release in 2010.
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Revised: September 19, 2012 .