Cultivating King Arthur: Women Writers and Arthurian Romance in the 1850s

  • Katie GarnerEmail author
Part of the British Women’s Writing from Brontë to Bloomsbury, 1840-1940 book series (BWWFBB, volume 1)


Discussing Victorian women writers’ fascination with depicting Arthurian romance in 1850s fiction, this chapter explores two children’s texts which were popular and influential at a time when juvenile access to medieval Arthurian literature was limited: Dinah Mulock (later Craik)’s ‘Avillion; or the Happy Isles’ (1853) and Charlotte Mary Yonge’s Arthurian fairy tale The History of Sir Thomas Thumb (1855). Revealing considerable knowledge of Arthurian romance, these texts helped rehabilitate the legend in the popular consciousness. Garner argues that although antiquarians were wary of recommending Malory’s Le Morte Darthur on moral grounds, Mulock and Yonge offered both girls and boys a Christianized Arthurian myth that they could uncomplicatedly admire and endorse.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English, Castle HouseUniversity of St AndrewsFifeUK

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