King Arthur is an important figure in the mythology of Britain. He is the central character in Arthurian legends, though there is disagreement about whether Arthur, or a model for him, ever lived. In the legends, which authors expanded rapidly beginning in the twelfth century, Arthur gathered the Knights of the Round Table (Lancelot, Galahad, and others). At his court, Camelot, could also be found the magician Merlin. The Arthurian mythos permeated to the continent, as far afield as Gdansk in Poland, where the 15th century merchants set up an Arthurian hall in his honour.
Arthur had in his possession the wondrous sword Excalibur which was given to him by The Lady of the Lake. In many accounts, Arthur is not eventually killed but is instead critically wounded; he is taken away to Avalon (often identified with Glastonbury in Somerset, England) to have his wounds healed. Legend had it that he would return in the hour of Britain's greatest need.
There are an immense number of books written about King Arthur and the court of Camelot.
- Gawain and the Green Knight
- Thomas Malory: Le mort d'Arthur
- Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Mists of Avalon
- T. H. White: The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King
- The several books by Norma Lorre Goodrich are very popular and according to Arthurian scholars not to be taken at all seriously. Goodrich is supposedly a fair scholar of literature but a very poor one of history. Reader take caution.