Arthurian poetry of Tennyson
Gray, James Martin
It is a curious fact of the recant scholarship inspired by the "return to Tennyson," that his Arthurian poetry, into which he put a lifetime's thought and skill, has bean almost ignored. While a few articles have dealt with minor points, critics hare been content to ignore these poems, particularly the Idylls of the King, as if they were literary fossils, efforts to put a superficial Victorian patina on the medieval Arthurian chronicles and romances. This critical neglect has meant that there is no clear idea of the extent and kind of tho Arthurian sources upon which Tennyson drew. I believe it is useless to assess Tennyson's Arthurian poetry until we take these sources into consideration, and accordingly the greater part of this thesis is taken up with their systematic examination. Aratny thesis as such is to show that Tennyson's reha: dling of the sources is so extensive and comprehensive that it constitutes an original creation. Within the scope of a work of this kind I cannot claim to have treated, every aspect of Tennyson's Arthurian poetry exhaustively; but I hope the work I have done will make it easier for others to form a picture of the skill and insight with which Tennyson wrote, in order to present the legends in a suitable form, and not simply as idle tales.