Arthurian romance is a reference to a collection of literature referred to as Matter of Britain ("Free Dictionary by Farlex" ). The works were named for their close link to Great Britain and its mighty kings of the past. The king most publicized in these collections of literature was King Arthur. There are many variations of the story of Arthur, but the important details of the story remain consistent throughout the tales ("Free Dictionary by Farlex" ). The writings focus on Arthur’s life as a young boy and his rise to fame. They also focus on the knights in Arthur’s courts, primarily Sir Lancelot, and Arthur’s relationship with his queen, Guinevere ("Free Dictionary by Farlex" ). Arthurian Romance has proven to be a popular form of literature throughout the years and has adapted to suite many audiences.
The Victorian Age was a time for invention and self-discovery. A person’s primary mode of learning and entertainment came from reading, “Readers’ tastes varied according to class, income, and education… It was the burgeoning middle class, however, that formed the largest audience for prose and poetry and produced authors to meet an increasing demand for books that would edify, instruct, and entertain.” (Henderson and Sharpe, p.1066). The demand was met with works that took readers to faraway lands with mystical beings, knights, quests, and perils. As the world moved forward, a fascination with the idea of chivalry and moral conquests increased leading to works whose primary themes involved a hero overcoming moral conflict and danger to save a lover or benefit others.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, one of the most famous poets of the time, wrote many stories that stemmed from Arthurian Romance “Drafts of Arthurian poems from Tennyson's youth still exist, and he would later write his friends that he had mentally "composed" a number of other Arthurian poems for inclusion in an envisioned monumental achievement” (Barterian, and Evans)....
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