Idylls of the King [1859-1885]

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Idylls of the King [1859-1885]

Publication Date: 1859-1885
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This epic poem that began with the notebook version of "Morte d’Arthur" in 1833 (a poem published in 1842 that later formed part of the idyll "The Passing of Arthur") was virtually finished in 1885 with the publication of the "Balin and Balan" idyll in Tiresias and Other Poems (although he was still making small changes as late as 1891).

In between, the poems that comprise the finished epic appeared in various stages. The first was in 1859 with the publication of Idylls of the King, a volume containing four idylls: "Enid," "Vivien," "Elaine," and "Guinevere." Later the names of these idylls--except for "Guinevere"-- were changed ("Vivien" becoming "Merlin and Vivien," "Elaine" becoming "Lancelot and Elaine," and "Enid" ultimately being divided into the two idylls, "The Marriage of Geraint" and "Geraint and Enid.)" The 1859 volume was followed in 1869 by the publication of "The Coming of Arthur," "The Holy Grail," "Pelleas and Ettarre," and "The Passing of Arthur"; then in 1872 by "Gareth and Lynette" and "The Last Tournament"; and finally in 1885 by "Balin and Balan."