Literature / The Book of Merlyn
The Book of Merlyn
is the posthumously published fifth book in T. H. White's retelling of Arthurian Legend
. Written in the 1940s, it remained unpublished due to wartime paper shortage and was not included in the 1958 composite edition of The Once and Future King
. The manuscript was finally published in 1977.
Chronologically, it is set within
the fourth book: On the eve of the Final Battle
between King Arthur
and Mordred, King Arthur is once more taken by Merlyn to contemplate various things.
This work provides examples of:
- Ant War: The Author envisioned this here, but Executive Meddling put it in The Sword in the Stone.
- Author Tract: On human nature, whether or not it is good by nature, the origins of war and plenty more.
- Face Death with Dignity: Arthur's death — to the very last, fighting to stem the tide of war and bring peace.
- Final Battle: The evening before it.
- Hope Spot: Arthur's tranquil experiences as a goose, and his incipient romance with Lyo-lok. Merlyn's timing for yanking him back to humanity is almost cruel.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: A main point put forward by many of the animals. They even go so far to suggest Homo Sapiens had a more fitting name as Homo Ferox.