Author: T. H. White
Narrator: Neville Jason
Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Audio Length: 33 hours
Release Date: June 2011
The stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have enthralled man since they were first handed down in oral form thousands of years ago. Early versions of these tales were written in poetry form and any of these tales have been difficult for beginning readers to understand. “The Once and Future King” brings the tales to listeners in an easy-to-understand audiobook format that maintains the authenticity of the original tales.
One of the greatest writers in fairly recent British literature has been T.H. White, who was able to write his own version of the Arthurian legends and put it into a form that audiences, especially younger audiences, could find interesting and understandable.
“The Once and Future King” is part of a series of a longer work that centers around the young lad, Wart, who became King Arthur; Merlyn, the magician and Arthur’s teacher and the stories of Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur. What is unique about White’s version is the relationship between Arthur and Merlyn.
Imagine having a teacher who not only was knowledgeable about the future, but, because he was living backwards in time, he didn’t remember what had happened in the past because he had not been there yet. Thus developed the confused, teacher-genius who became the absent-minded professor.
Merlyn’s methods of teaching will capture the minds of even reluctant listeners as they listen to how he taught the young Arthur by turning him into various creatures of Nature so that Arthur could learn what innate lessons each animal had to teach.
Terence Hanbury White (1906-1964), more commonly known as T.H. White, was an English author best known for the sequence of Arthurian novels he published based on the Arthurian legends. His most famous work remains “The Once and Future King,” which was published in 1958.
T. H. White was born in Bombay, British India to a British couple who were living there. He attended college in England and became well versed in the stories of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He earned a first-class degree in English and eventually taught. It wasn’t until later in his life that he revisited Malory’s versions of the Arthurian novel and began writing his version, bringing the beloved tales to a modern audience.