Books: Parfit Gentil Knyght

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING (677 pp.)—7. H. White—Putnam ($4.95)..

When it comes to the King Arthur story, a myth is as good as a mile. Just about all anyone knows of the historical Arthur is that he lived in the 6th century. Nine hundred years later, when "Syr Thomas Maleore, knyght" put together Morte d'Arthur, he was already synthesizing a well-encrusted legend, the sources of which he "dyd take oute of certeyn bookes of frensshe and reduced it in to Englysshe." Another 400 years and the parfit gentil knights in the pious allegories of...

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