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The King Arthur Companion

///The King Arthur Companion
The King Arthur Companion 2017-05-21T03:00:36+00:00

The King Arthur Companion

Enter the World of Arthur, King of all Britain and master of a thousand knights.

Explore the beauty and splendor of the legendary world of Camelot and the Round Table; experience its magic and mystery.

Written in a warm and entertaining style, The King Arthur Companion contains almost 700 entries, fully cross-referenced and annotated. It includes a “who’s who” of Arthurian legend; a “what’s what” of famous weapons and artifacts; a “where’s where” of many geographical locations from actual maps of ancient Britain; and a “when’s when” full chronology of Arthur’s reign.

Cover Illustration by Jody Lee
The King Arthur Companion
Author Phyllis Ann Karr
Publisher Chaosium
Year 1983
Product Number CHA 2704
ISBN 0993635176
Format Softcover
Pages 174
Original Price $19.95
In Print No
Availability eBay
Cover Illustration Jody Lee
Editorial and Layout Lynn Willis
Maps Yurek Chodak

The King Arthur Companion is actually a revision of Phyllis Ann Karr’s The King Arthur Companion, a hardcover published by Reston in 1979. Greg Stafford convinced her to revise it for use with Pendragon under the Chaosium banner.

She has since rewritten and expanded the work under the new title The Arthurian Companion, which itself has had a second edition released.

Section Page
Forward vii
Chief Incidents in the Morte d’Arthur viii
Textual Note viii
Arthurian Britain (map) x – xi
PEOPLE: Introduction 2
“People” Entries in Alphabetical Order 5 – 108
Arthur and the Orkney Kin (chart) 10
Battlefield Pillagers 16
Blood Feuds 19
Arthurian Classes and Roles 33
Cultural Heritage 50
Lancelot’s Kin (chart) 58
Dating the Era and Characters 62
Section Page
Distances and Travel Time 66
Holding Court 72
Individual Combats and Courtesy 80
The Fisher Kings and the Kin of Pellinore (chart) 87
Knighthood and Knight Errantry 90
Names 100
Prophesies 105
Questing and Errantry 108
PLACES: Introduction 109
“Places” Entries in Alphabetical Order 109 – 143
Relations Between Knights and Ladies 116
Time: Dates and Hours of the Day 130
Section Page
Tournaments and Jousting 143
THINGS: Introduction 144
Categories of Things (chart) 145
“Things” Entries in Alphabetical Order 146 – 158
Describing Coats of Arms (chart) 148
Women 152
A Tentative Chronology of King Arthur’s Reign 159
Magical Acts 161
Character Groupings 163
Arthur’s Continental Campaign (map) 171
Bibliographical Note 172

“… I decided to list here only those volumes that remained constantly at my elbow. The other sources, those I used less frequently, are (I hope) sufficiently identified where cited.”

– Phyllis Ann Karr, The King Arthur Companion (p. 172)

Author(s) and Work(s)

Background and Insight

Cited as Source for

Malory, Sir Thomas
Le Morte D’Arthur: The Book of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
New Hyde Park, NY University Books, 1961

“There are many editions of this work… The index is so faulty that I demand it share the blame with me for any mistakes and overlooked references I have made! I do not claim this is the best edition of Malory ever printed, nor even the best presently in print; but it had the great advantage of being the one I had ready at hand, in a personal copy suitable for hard use; and it also has Book and Chapter divisions labelled as originating with Caxton, which facilitates many references.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Malory, Sir Thomas
Arthur Pendragon of Britain: A Romantic Narrative
Edited by John W. Donaldson
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1943

“A superb edition of Malory for the reader who would like to sample the flavor of the original…

Donaldson went on the principle that Malory would have edited and improved his work if he had had the chance – so Donaldson attempted to do it for him, cut the length of the book roughly in half, and succeeded admirably in making a coherent narrative of the books of Tristam … but kept Malory’s own language, with a minimum of minor verbal changes (aside from the cuts) everywhere except the Grail Adventures. I was far from satisfied with the way Donaldson handled the Grail Adventures; the condensing of Tristram’s adventures unfortunately cut out most of the episodes where Palomides shows to best advantage and only left those where he shows to worst; and Donaldson’s apparent unawareness of the looseness with which terms of relationship were used led him to change Bors de Ganis from Lancelot’s cousin to his nephew – with these cautions, I recommend Donaldson’s version Very Highly indeed. I do not recommend Keith Baines’ retelling in modern prose, however.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

The Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances
Washington : The Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1909-1916
Edited by H. Oskar Sommer

“The text of this is in medieval French, so I do not pretend I combed every page. But Sommer provided what seems to be a pretty complete summary in English glosses on every page of the first six volumes, and even from these the riches of the Vulgate version are obvious.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Chr├ętien de Troyes
Arthurian Romances
George braziller, Inc., 1976.

“The works of Chr├ętien de Troyes would have been given equal weight with Malory and the Vulgate, but unfortunately as of this time I have been able to obtain only two – Yvain and Perceval in a text I can use.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Gardner, John
The Complete Works of the Gawaine-Poet
University of Chicago Press, 1965

“The Middle English metrical romances constitute a fourth rich source of the Arthurian story more or less compatible with Malory and the Vulgate. The most famous and almost certainly the best of these romances is, of course, Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight… [This is] my favorite translation.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Stuart-Glennie, John S.
Arthurian Localities: Their Historical Origin, Chief Country and Fingalian Relations
Edinburgh: Edmonyon and Douglas, 1869

“The chief difficulty in using Glennie was that he wanted to put almost all Arthurian sites in southern Scotland and northernmost England. Also, his references to characters are often more tantalizing than enlightening.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Stuart-Glennie, John S. & Nash, David William
Merlin, Or, The Early History of King Arthur: A Prose Romance (about 1450-1460 A. D.)
Early English Text Society, 1869
Edited by Henry B. Wheatley

Ms Karr used this in tandem with Arthurian Localities.

The King Arthur Companion

Tennyson, Lord Byron
Idylls of the King
Heritage Press, 1939

I think Tennyson’s is a lovely version, and I have been not unfavorably impressed with his scholarship… The Idylls are probably absolutely the latest literary rendition which I would be tempted to use as an “authority” in any case.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Collier’s World Atlas and Gazatteer
P. F. Collier & Son Corp, 1942

“Having been the family atlas for as long as I can remember, this shared with the University Books edition of Malory the great advantage of being ever-readable.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Norden, John
A Topographical and Historical Description of Cornwall
W. Pearson, 1728
Reprinted 1966 by Frank Graham

“Norden probably made his Survey of Cornwall in 1584, according to Graham’s preface. The book makes one’s mouth water for a description of the rest of Britain in the same style.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Oxford University
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford University Press, 1971

“I also kept handy [this] and other dictionaries and standard reference works.” – Phyllis Ann Karr

The King Arthur Companion

Brewer, E. Cobham
The Reader’s Handbook of Famous Names in Fiction, Allusions, References, Proverbs, Plots, Stories, and Poems
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1899
Republished by Gale Research Company, 1966

Of particular importance to the “reference works” Ms Karr cited above.

The King Arthur Companion

The King Arthur Companion is copyright by Phyllis Ann Karr.