Construct

Pendragonry will feature my musings on Arthurian matters from the late 1960s onwards, mostly in an amateur British magazine called Pendragon but also supplemented by commentary elsewhere and by my current thoughts.

Half a century and more of reflection on obsessions — mine and others — with ‘King Arthur’ have led me to the inevitable conclusion that Arthur, his Round Table and associated paraphernalia are all wonderful constructs, existing in as many different forms as there are individuals to consider them.

The Pendragon Society was originally founded in 1959 in Winchester, Hampshire,  with the following aims:

    1. To stimulate interest in King Arthur and his contemporaries.
    2. To investigate the history and archaeology of the Matter of Britain.
    3. To study the significance — past, present and future — of the Arthurian legends. (This further clause was added later, when the Society was based in Bristol.)

Until it was voluntarily dissolved in 2009 (its golden jubilee year) the Society’s main activities were focused on projects, principally early medieval archaeology — a hillfort, Roman villa and Early Christian church site — and contributions to Pendragon, its magazine-style journal. The journal included news, views and reviews as well as articles, often substantial. Its members, many from overseas, included authors, academics and artists among its ranks as well as amateurs. For much of its existence I was contributing editor.

Pendragonry therefore will include many of my contributions to the journal, with additional commentary where necessary. Of course it will, since it’ll represent my opinions, be very opinionated. I do welcome comments, even criticisms (because opinions can change!) but naturally only those conducted politely.

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Author: Calmgrove

Book review blogger and piano accompanist

7 thoughts on “Construct”

  1. I’m reading Thomas Love Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey for the first time, and I see that he’s written his own bit of Arthuriana: The Misfortunes of Elphin (full text available here: http://www.thomaslovepeacock.net/Elphin.html). It’s next on my to-read list. Are you familiar with it? Are there other satires of Arthur’s world (besides Monty Python)? I ask because, these days, anything that makes me laugh is worth quite a bit, and Peacock has proved his value.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got — or did have — a copy of Misfortunes but never got round to reading it, just wasn’t ever in the mood. Ditto (apart from Monty P) for other mickey-takes because I was ever fixated on the ‘real’ or at least a realistic King Arthur. Probably why I never could get on with Twain’s Yankee either.

      Actually, the original satires of Arthurian tropes were definitely medieval — all that constant duelling with Black Knights, dragons and giants, rescuing of damsels and searching after magical objects, did it have any more relevance to real life than video games have for today’s youngsters? And what are Don Quixote’s adventures and Rabelais’ books if not satirical commentary on romance conventions? T H White’s Arthurian series is in part his tongue in cheek response to Malory’s fantasy, as when there’s disbelief from one charscter that Mordred’s forces are using guns (even though cannon were a commonplace in the Wars of the Roses, in which Malory himself took part).

      But what you’re really after, Lizzie, is some modern examples — I wish I could rattle them off the top of my head but I’ll have to go and riffle through my reference books first…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course. Twain. I haven’t read it, but can vaguely recall Bing Crosby (!) in the title role of the film version.
        I don’t remember guns from THWhite, but that’s no surprise — I can barely remember what I read yesterday, which is why I try to finish books asap.
        No need to spend too much time searching. I was just wondering.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I shall now take a leaf out of the song (searching my faulty memory banks) : “I’m busy doing nothing, working the whole day through | Trying to find lots of things not to do. | I’m busy going no place, isn’t that such a crime? | I’d like to be unhappy, But! I never do have the time!”

        Liked by 1 person

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