The Once & Future King
London: Collins, 1958. Octavo. Blue boards with a slightly cocked spine. Top right corner of the front board is bumped, bottom edge of the text block lightly rubbed. Small indent to the fore edge of the text block, well-preserved jacket has minor chipping to the crown and heel of the spine, mild toning, and a small sticker over the price on the inner flap. 677 pages. First edition, second impression. Very good.
Based on Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, containing "The Sword and the Stone." White fused the Arthurian myths with the bleak atmosphere of post-war England. A hard to find classic in a very handsome jacket.
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”