For a novel which begins in earthly splendour and spiritual plenitude La Mort le roi Artu ends in a curious spectacle of chaos and decline. This final sequel of the enormous thirteenth-century Lancelot-prose cycle contains what should have been the golden age of Arthur's court, knighthood having returned to the native soil of Camelot after the distant Grail quest. Instead, it proclaims the twilight of the Arthurian world, the steady disintegration of the courtly and chivalric ideals which are the very stuff of romance. Of the hundred thousand knights who gather for the last battle...
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