Read The Ill-Made Knight by T.H. White Online


The Ill-Made Knight is based around the adventures, perils and mistakes of Sir Lancelot. Lancelot, despite being the bravest of the knights, is ugly, and ape-like, so that he calls himself the Chevalier mal fet - "The Ill-Made Knight". As a child, Lancelot loved King Arthur and spent his entire childhood training to be a knight of the round table. When he arrives and becomThe Ill-Made Knight is based around the adventures, perils and mistakes of Sir Lancelot. Lancelot, despite being the bravest of the knights, is ugly, and ape-like, so that he calls himself the Chevalier mal fet - "The Ill-Made Knight". As a child, Lancelot loved King Arthur and spent his entire childhood training to be a knight of the round table. When he arrives and becomes one of Arthur's knights, he also becomes the king's close friend. This causes some tension, as he is jealous of Arthur's new wife Guinevere. In order to please her husband, Guinevere tries to befriend Lancelot and the two eventually fall in love. T.H. White's version of the tale elaborates greatly on the passionate love of Lancelot and Guinevere. Suspense is provided by the tension between Lancelot's friendship for King Arthur and his love for and affair with the queen....

Title : The Ill-Made Knight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789997409850
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 291 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Ill-Made Knight Reviews

  • Darwin8u
    2018-11-05 06:07

    “Middle-aged people can balance between believing in God and breaking all the commandments without difficulty.” ― T.H. White, The Ill-Made Knight You might think a novel that basically focuses on a love-triangle (a quadrilateral if you include God), several affairs, a man's struggle between his love for a woman, love for God, love for his best friend, would not hold the interest of a 13 and an 11-year old for long, but this is T.H. White. The Ill-Made Knight characters are so human, so filled with frailties, heroics, and insecurities that White could have written about cooking for 300 pages and my kids would have been rapt from page 1 to the end. In this the third book of the greater The Once and Future King epic, the story turns solidly to Lancelot. It is impossible to understand Lancelot without looking at Arthur, Guinevere, Elaine & Galahad. And the Ill-Made Knight digresses to capture these stories. The middle of the book pivots as Camelot, under Arthur's leadership, undergoes a change from physical quests (Round Table v. Might makes Right) to spiritual ones (Round Table > Grail quest). This change captures/mirrors the dynamic of Lancelot's own story (the vacillation between the physical and spiritual).

  • Nikki
    2018-11-11 07:23

    T.H. White doesn't make me feel as sympathetic and tender toward Lancelot as Steinbeck does, though there are some similarities in the two treatments. The way he talks about Guinevere, too -- I don't know, it bothers me. It's tender and it tries to understand her, but at the same time it's so condescending and just... knowing from research how closely the portrayals of Morgan/Morgause and Guinevere are linked, and knowing how Morgause is portrayed in the earlier books, it shades T.H. White's portrayal uglier.He does very well at exploring Lancelot's character, though I miss the insights into Arthur's character that the first book promised. And I can't get on with White's version of Gawain.Anyway, this isn't very useful for my dissertation, but I thought I'd revisit it anyway in case something thematic popped up.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-02 06:29

    The Ill Made Knight covers the story of Lancelot from his beginnings to near the end of the time in Camelot, and chronicles his love for Guinevere and Elaine's love for him, and his struggles in the quest for the grail. I was quite amused by the references back to Malory, and found myself rather wanting to revisiting that book (in the original, of course: not an abridgement or a retelling).T.H. White has a certain amount of tenderness for and an understanding of his characters that makes their stupidities endearing and understandable, but even he couldn't make me stop wanting to shake all three of them. I liked his interpretation of the triangle as a quadrangle including God, on Lancelot's part, and I felt that the last few pages were wonderful -- I love the story of Sir Urry for what it says about Lancelot, and for that surprisingly humbled pride of Lancelot's, when he cries at having performed a miracle.Without Merlyn, the book is a lot less vibrant, and like many versions of the story, it becomes unstuck from Arthur as the centre and devolves to Lancelot. I always feel some disappointment about that.

  • Othy
    2018-10-30 12:08

    It is difficult to know what to do with this book. Mostly it seems to be more a commentary of the tradition (especially Malory) rather than a narrative at all. White skips over some major parts of the story and the end of the narrative seemed to me to be rather unsatisfactory. Often White stops the action to delve into not the psyche of his characters but their potential psyche. This potential, moreover, seems to be based not entirely on Malory or some other writer but the characters as if they were actually historical humans. Thus the book is really a meditation of what Lancelot, Guenever, Arthur, and the rest of the knights may have been like in a space between history, the tradition, and White's own created works. At times this works beautifully; at other times it is very trying, slow, boring, and almost even surface (surprisingly). The book really comes through in the middle with the quest for the Grail; here White is able to balance all his modes and create a very awesome narrative. If the entire book were written like this it would be one of the greatest books in the fantasy genre. Unfortunately, White too often moves quickly over interesting points of character -because- he is so heavily commenting on the tradition.

  • Tiara
    2018-11-18 05:03

    2.5 stars. Hated Lancelot.“He would not call himself Sir Lancelot. He would call himself the Chevalier Mal Fet—the Ill-Made Knight.So far as he could see—and he felt that there must be some reason for it somewhere—the boy’s face was as ugly as a monster’s in the King’s menagerie.”This story begins the downfall of Arthur. Readers learn a great deal about Lancelot the son of a French king who decides from a very young age to dub himself Chevalier mal fet–The Ill-Made Knight because Lancelot is supposedly ugly, looking more like an ape than a man, which is very unusual in Arthurian lore for him not to be some handsome, shining prince like Jaime Lannister. Lancelot trains from a very young age to become one of Arthur’s knights after he begins to hero worship Arthur after a meeting where he’s decided he already loves the King and he will be everything the king wants him to be. He strives to be the best, and he wants Arthur’s attentions for himself (not like that… what kind of book do you think these are?). For this reason, Lancelot loathes Guinevere at first because she commands Arthur’s attention. Arthur seeing that the two people closest to him are unable to get along has Guinevere assist Lancelot in falconing.Despite his appearance, Guinevere acquiesces that he isn’t attractive in any conventional way, but she see his looks as more interesting than appalling. Lancelot only begins to fall for the Queen after he insults her and sees the real harm he’s done. It’s here where the book explains that Lancelot can’t care about things unless he’s done some grievance. Then, he feels he has to atone for his grievance, which leads to a love affair between the two. Lancelot still loves both his king and now, his queen, which puts in him constantly in odds with himself. He takes on quests to avoid her, but we know how fate goes.This book didn’t make me like Lancelot at all. Not even a little bit. It’s not even actually like he was a “good” person. It made me despise Gawaine for the most part, too, who is known to fly into rages and harm/kill even women, but somehow he’s still considered chivalrous. I also hated the way that White wrote Guinevere and just women in particular, straddling them with unnecessary pettiness, blaming them for their “downfalls,” which surely was their own fault and worthy of the extreme violence bestowed on them.The only thing I really liked about this was the obvious conflict in all parties involved in the love triangle. All these characters love one another–Lancelot loves the King and the Queen, and they both love him in turn. They also love each other in their own way. Arthur isn’t blind. Even without knowing what Merlyn has told him, he knows Lancelot loves his wife (and vice versa), but he cares deeply for both. I appreciated that White tried to give this some complexity because it’s not always as simple as “YOU CHEATED ON ME! YOU GOTTA GO!” Sometimes, very complex and conflicting feelings come into play during such situations.

  • Breanne
    2018-11-14 09:12

    This wasn't necessarily a terrible book, but it wasn't, in my opinion, a great book either. I started reading it in June, it is now September. I generally read books a lot faster than I did this one. As with the previous books in the series, it seems that T.H. White has so many thoughts and details that he wants to include in this book, however he just doesn't include them all. The book is all over the place. Battle scenes and tournaments are cut short, characters inner dialogues and struggles aren't fully described or explained, and overall direction of the story of Arthur as a whole just seems to be on hold while T.H. White tries to explain Lancelot and his inner demons further. All in all it was an ok story. I didn't entirely hate it, but it just didn't contain the components other books generally have held for me in the past, to make me want to sit down and keep reading to find out what happens next. If it were not for my OCD that does not allow me to leave a book or series unfinished no matter what, I do not know if I would have picked this book back up to continue reading it or not.I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book for someone to read, but I wouldn't discourage them from reading it either.

  • Miriam
    2018-10-23 10:20

    This rather sad retelling of the story of Sir Lancelot focused on the warrior's obsession with his own ugliness and inadequacy.

  • Ahmed Al-shamari
    2018-11-01 12:01

    Book 3: The ill-made night SPOIL ALERT!!! THIS WILL RUIN IT FOR YOU IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKFrom the title and ch.1, we know it’s going to be about Lancelot and how he’s the ill-made knight. Lancelot is brave and really wants to impress Arthur since he was a kid. He got used to discipline and hard work. I like how at the beginning, it says that he’ll become Arthur’s greatest knight. After Merly tells that on a visit he did with Nimue to Lancelot’s castle, Lancelot goes to England. The book has lots of foreshadowing, which I enjoy. Like when it says that Lancelot doesn’t like Guenever, that’s big foreshadowing. I also really enjoy the betrayal and the backstabbing of Guenever and Lancelot. When Lance discovers that his uncle Dap knows about his affair, he asks him to leave which tells us that Lancelot is the kind of person who runs away from his problems rather than faces them. What I don’t like is how three of the Orkney children become Arthur’s knights after claiming in the last book that they’ll take revenge for what happened to their grandmother on Arthur all without any explanation. I feel really bad for Lancelot because it is his fault that he loved Guenever, and after seeing her kiss Arthur, after coming back from the Roman war, he decides to leave so that he maybe he can forget her, but of course, he doesn’t. The adventures he goes through are very interesting and wicked and were full of wicked people. I felt nothing but sympathy for the poor thing, especially when he was tricked into sleeping and having a baby with Elaine. And the fight between him and Gwen was very emotional and by the end, I admired the foreshadowing when it said:, “Now, in their love, which was stronger, there were the seeds of hatred and fear and confusion: for love can exist with hatred, each praying on the other, and this is what gives it its greatest fury.” When Guenever, later on, tells Lancelot, to have a chance with Elaine when she comes, it gives the impression that she is pure and good on the inside and actually respects Arthur and Lancelot. Later, I felt really, really bad for him when he went crazy and mad after his fight with Elaine and Guenever, and all the crap he went through, and becoming skinny, weak, starved, and made a fool of. There are many things about the book after that which I didn’t like, such as how 15 years is are passed by, all of the sudden. I also didn’t like the way the quests were being reminisced. I didn’t understand 90% of Gawaine’s story in weird English (If it was English.).And the way Lionel ends his story when he says that all of the sudden God came and something happens and the sun burns their shields and they start laughing and patch things up just like that; out of nowhere. On top of that, there’s the Orkney Faction’s problem which really confused me. Because here’s how it goes, Pellinore accidentally kills Lot, and then Lots children, the Orkney brothers, kill Pellinore. Then, Morgause seduces Lamorak, Pellinore’s son and then her children, after seeing him with Lamorak, kill her along with Lamorak. Then, Lamorak’s brother Aglovale wants to kill Gawaine for revenge but thank God Arthur convinces him not to or it just would have become more complicated. However, I started to like the story when Lancelot came back because it was interesting and his story was fun. How he lives with his son on the boat and makes a good relationship with him on a holy boat was a fun story. And how he couldn’t get the Holy Grail because he wasn’t pure enough was fun as well. All that was really exciting to read. But, then the poisoned apple story happens and I don’t like it because it happens so fast and is then solved very fast as well, but it brings Lancelot back in the story, which I DO like. After that, I felt horrible for Elaine. The poor woman just committed suicide, I mean her only fault was that she loved Lancelot, and died for it. Sad sad. Throughout the entire book, I have been grossed out by the affair between Lancelot and Guenever. I believe Arthur had every right to be against Lancelot in the whole Round Table thing. The book keeps showing Lancelot’s bravery which was very nice. The freeing of Guenever from Meliagrance was the last demonstration of his bravery, sadly. Especially the way he slaughters Meliagrance. And then I read the last chapter and kind of got frustrated. It said earlier that only virgins can perform miracles, and then Lancelot just performs a miracle on the man with the wound healing issue. I didn’t understand that part and didn’t like it. But in the end, the book was very fun, interesting, and exciting to read. The most important thing I learned from this book was that reaching perfection isn’t as great as it sounds because then one has no goal in one’s life. Like what happened with the knights after the Holy Grail quest.

  • Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
    2018-11-11 09:27

    I was not expecting this book to be about Lancelot given the ending of the previous book but it was interesting nonetheless. I had to look up T. H. White when I had finished because there are some very Australian references in there that were peculiar, especially to Bradman and St Kilda, but as odd as they were they did have a comparative place within the novel. I do not have any real strong opinions about this book either way, it was pretty straightforward, the story or Arthur and his creation and aftermath of the round table. Lancelot and his relationship with Arthur and Guinevere. It focuses more on Lancelot's adventures but it does blend into Arthur's perspective on occasion which was good. It is hard, especially reading each book so close to one another, to picture Arthur as a king after such a long time in his childhood in Sword in the Stone. Now he is thirty and still aging (as is everyone else) and a ruling king trying to create order. Once again past characters from the other tales resurface, not in a predominant way but they are mentioned and have small roles and influences. We follow Lancelot's journey and the advancements and troubles of Arthur's kingdom, and the famed Holy Grail comes into the story as well. The trials and tribulations of trying to recover it and the battles both internal and external of the knights involved. The one thing that did bug me was when characters were written in dialect. It is rather hard to wrap your head around this old half Gaelic/English combination of Gawaine's and during long speeches it takes a long time to make sure you understand what it going on. Though much of the previous book was written like this but in a more understandable manner I felt.My enjoyment went up and down. It started slow, got more interesting and I thought it was going to be ok, then it slowed down again and got a little boring. Nothing against White it is a very detailed and well researched story, but there are certainly bits that did not hold my attention. I do not claim to know everything about this legend, typically Monty Python is my limit and the odd other film like Mists of Avalon, and I don't only want to read these stories to see the famous and well known plots of the story. There is a lot more to this tale, especially about a knight like Lancelot, and a lot of the time it was intriguing and I didn't know what would happen, but unfortunately there are blocks where I am fighting to urge to skip sections onto the next scene. White's detail of making sure each story is told, every detail known and nothing left out sometimes makes for a drawn out revelation, whether this is for reader suspense or not I am not sure. For the little suspense there is I felt it was overshadowed by an overload of minor and extra details.Towards the end it did become like a medieval romance novel with overwrought and emotional women, and the men fighting for their hearts. Perhaps I was just eager to finish the book, not by any means long, but a lot harder to get through than previous ones. About three quarters of the way through my interest really waned and every time I took a break I had no real enthusiasm to return. The bits that were interesting is where the three stars come from, it was a good story and as I say, very well planned out and detailed. But as the last hundred or so pages were a struggle. By the end of the story I did feel a bit sorry for poor Arthur. After the joys of his youth, Merlin's training and his rise to power, the effort to make England a better place, what he ended up with and the life he was dealt was depressing. But I mean if you are interested in the legend all the intricate details, research and stories would interest you, and it is a good read to learn more, but be warned it does get drawn out.

  • Ashley.C
    2018-10-22 08:26

    The Ill made knight told the story of Lancelot. Lancelot was a brave, kind and upstanding knight, and he was the best knight of the round table and the world. He was Arthur’s best friend and as soon as he found out that he loves Guenever, Arthur’s wife, he went on a quest trying to escape from this feeling, but after a lot of escapes he still can’t escape from his own feeling, and so does Guenever. But he rescued a girl called Elaine and Elaine had a kid with him, which was an accident and then Guenever was angry. It told a lot about love, the love between Lancelot and Guenever, the love between Arthur and Lancelot and the love from Elaine to Lancelot. Also, there’s this triangle between Arthur, Guenever and Lancelot.Arthur loved Lancelot as his best friend and so does Lancelot and they love the same woman, Guenever. Guenever loves Arthur, but she loves Lancelot, too. Arthur knew about Lancelot’s relationship with Guenever but he did nothing. On one side, he has his best friend. On the other side, he has the woman he loved the most. White was so good at characterizing characters that they’re so real and they’re portrayed so well. Lancelot doesn’t want to do anything to hurt Arthur but he did anyway, and he felt awful and sorry. Arthur doesn’t want to hurt anyone so he didn’t do anything about it. Kindness of the two men just hurt themselves the most. They suffer for each other.The book was a little depressing and I think it’s because that Merlyn and Kay didn’t appear much. I sort of miss Merlyn and Kay’s funny talk with Arthur in book two. Also, Arthur was always a little boy with Merlyn, and now he has to deal with all kinds of problems by himself. Not with his queen, nor with his best knight and best friend. About Elaine, She was a good girl but she made a mistake for her love. Lancelot hated her for lying to him. But I think Elaine will be a better wife than Guenever. First of all, Elaine loved Lancelot very much. Guenever did too, but she also loved Arthur, and how can she love two people at the same time which confused me so much! Also, what if Guenever get to live with Lancelot and then she fell in love with someone else and loved him at the same time? Because when she was with Arthur, who was pure and kind and was the great king of England, she fell in love with Lancelot. I really don’t like Guenever, for all kinds of reasons.But the book was good, with all the details about the struggle in the triangle. Like when Arthur saw Lancelot and Guenever standing together and looking at each other, he just kept eating his food and said nothing, like he was pretending to see nothing. I really want Arthur to do something about this!! Why would he still love Guenever anyway!

  • Matthew Kozak
    2018-10-25 13:27

    "This knight's trouble from his childhood-which he never completely grew out of, by the way-was that for him God was a real person: not an abstraction who punished you if you were wicked or rewarded you if you were good, but a real person like Guenever or Arthur or like anybody else. Of course he felt that God was much better than Guenever or Arthur, but the point was that he was personal. Lancelot had a definite idea of what he looked like, and how he felt; and he was somehow in love with this Person. So Lancelot was not really involved in an Eternal Triangle: it was an Eternal Quadrangle, if you catch the idea, which was eternal as well as quadrangular. He had not 'given up' his mistress because he was afraid of some Holy Bogy, but he had been confronted by two people whom he loved. The one was Arthur's Queen, the other a wordless presence who had celebrated Mass at Castle Carbonek. Unfortunately, as so often happens in love affairs, the two objects of his affection were contradictory. It was as if he had been confronted with a choice between Jane and Janet; and as if he had gone to Janet, not because he was afraid that she would punish him if he stayed with Jane, but because he felt, with warmth and pity, that he loved her best. He may even have felt that God needed him more than Guenever did. This was the problem, an emotional problem rather than a moral one, which had taken him into retreat at his abbey, where he had hoped to feel things out. Still, it would not be quite true to say that Lancelot did not come back from some motives of magnanimity. He was a magnanimous man. Even if God's need for him was the greater in normal times, now it was obvious that his first love's need was pressing. Perhaps a man who had left Jane for Janet might have enough love inside him to return for Jane when she was in desperate need, and this love might be compared to pity or to magnanimity or to generosity, if it were not unfashionable, and even a little disgusting, to believe in these emotions. Lancelot, in any case, who was wrestling with his love for Guenever as well as with his love for God, came back to her side as soon as he knew that she was in trouble, and, when he saw her radiant face waiting for him under shameful durance, his heart did turn over inside its habergeon with some piercing emotion ... (p.247, 248, T.H. WHITE)."

  • Jeff Stockett
    2018-10-23 10:11

    I wouldn't say that this is the normal type of book I read. While knights and dragons and magic are more my thing, this book is really about a love triangle, which is not my normal cup of tea.However, I can become engrossed in any story as long as I like the characters. I have to write a little something about the three main characters.Lancelot - You'd think I wouldn't be able to like a guy who sleeps with his best friend's wife. But the author writes Lancelot in such a sympathetic way. He loves Arthur, he loves Guinevere and he loves God. But his love of Arthur and his love of God are not compatible with his love of Guinevere. He is terrible flawed, but he's written in a way that makes you realize that he is simply human. His major flaw is a terrible one, but he still manages to remain relateable. I particularly loved that from his perspective, it was a quadrangle, because God was there too, and he loved Him more than he loved his friend or his lover.Arthur - He's not the protagonist here as he was in the first 2 books. But we still get some characterization. I love that he just wants to do what is right. He wants the best for his kingdom, and he thinks so much about how his actions affect others. I also like that he has so much love for Guinevere and Lancelot that he almost chooses to remain naive. Guinevere - I really, really wanted to like her, because I did like the other 2 so much. But she's terrible. She's manipulative, jealous and entitled. I understand that she's a queen, but she treated Lancelot like property. She was cheating on her husband, yet constantly accused Lancelot of cheating on her. I disliked her so much, that it made me not like Lancelot quite as much, because how could he be in love with her? My dislike for her dropped my rating to 3 stars, it could have easily been 4.Even if I didn't like Guinevere, this is still a pretty good chapter in the Arthurian legend. Definitely worth a read.

  • Amalie
    2018-10-26 12:16

    This was really unexpected! I picked the 3rd book of White's "Once and Future King" expecting it to be the least interesting one. I never really liked the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere. One reason is, I know in the earliest legend there was no character as Lancelot [and Guinevere's adulterous affair was with Gawaine, Arthur's nephew and Arthur fathered a son, Mordred with Queen Morgause rather than Morgan Le Fay]. The other reason was, I knew, it is influenced by the medieval romance: The tale of Tristan and Isolde which I have read before these. And Lancelot and Guinevere felt as a repetition - a badly done one. I guess it was because the character motives are so unrealistic in "Lancelot and Guinevere" tales.This book tells the tale of Lancelot (a young boy when he first meets Arthur) who suffers from internal conflicts about his unworthiness and decides he will become Arthur's greatest knight to prove his worth to himself and others. He believes he is Ill-Made because he is "ape-like and ugly". His lack of self-esteem is the reason behind the obsession with being pure and a knight who seeks God ( The Holy Grail quest). However he is far from reaching perfection. When all is lost, he is driven into madness. Personally, I never saw any romance in the love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere. I don't understand how adultery can become romantic! or Having an affair with your best friend's wife for that matter? However, here, it was all explained.I was moved by White's portrayal. The deep psychology. In "The Ill-Made Knight" Lancelot is a man full of self-loathing, sandwiched between his love for Arthur, his idol (the man saw beyond his ugliness) and his love for the only woman who paid him attention.

  • Ben Bonci
    2018-10-31 06:24

    In my response to The Queen of Air and Darkness, the previous part of The Once and Future King, I argued that that book’s weaknesses stemmed from the fact that it was largely a tool to set up a subsequent volume. I hoped, then, that the effort would be worth it. It was. Ill-Made Knight has its imperfections, but it remains some of the most touching prose I’ve encountered. This chapter in Arthurian legend switches focus away from the King, to look at his friend and captain, Lancelot. The reader watches Lancelot react to his first encounter with Arthur, we see him grow, go to court, and deal with the trials of being the greatest knight in the world while dealing with his forbidden love. It is no spoiler to reveal that Lancelot and Guenever become lovers. Besides, I must, in order to say that White’s treatment of that affair is fantastic. In fact, my biggest gripe with the book is the time it spends away from that domestic drama. Arthur’s struggle to find peace and justice in an unruly land, though intriguing stuff on its own, pales in comparison to the simple pains of those two figures. White, too, seems somewhat obliged to cover these other topics, which is why they’re largely delivered second hand, or summed up in snippets. So that we can get back to what really matters. Because wrapped up in White’s recollection of the first love triangle, is a recollection of humanity. He sees things that I don’t, and can express things I never could. He has, in his own words, “knowledge of the world.” And that is tragic, and true, and demands to be read.

  • Matthew Hunter
    2018-11-13 13:07

    Disappointed! The Ill-Made Knight's my least favorite installment in The Once and Future King series thus far. It's as if White decided to take a break from the narrative to write a commentary on Malory. His psychological profiles of Lancelot, Guenever, and Arthur are helpful, I guess. But where's the humor of the first two books? We find out about Pellinore's demise through the accounts of others. Grummore and Palomides are now ancient characters given no dialogue. The sometimes buffoonish Merlyn is imprisoned off stage. It's all Shakespearean romantic tragedy in The Ill-Made Knight. That'd be all fine and dandy if book three didn't read like a speed bump in the narrative's flow.Prepare to be frustrated by the clumsy antics of Lancelot and Guenever. Their brand of I'd-rather-die-than-be-apart-from-you romantic chaos should be left to teens like Romeo and Juliet, not to 40-plus year olds. I also have a beef with the depiction of King Arthur as nothing but a pathetic cuckold. White mutes all heroicism, chivalry and goodness in his version of the Arthurian legend. I find value in Freudian analysis, but c'mon! As with all things, Camelot's a complex mixture of goodness, badness, and everything in between. With heroism and goodness either missing or compromised throughout, White offers readers little more than a series of his own astute psychological journal entries. Not quite deserving of a "yuck", but it's certainly not my cup of tea either.Here's to hoping the final installment leaves the speed bumps behind.

  • Pamela Huck
    2018-10-24 13:22

    A tale of Lancelot's life. As he is described to be very ugly, I sympathised very much with him. Again, as so often with White, the description of the boy's heart and mind are very wormhearted and genuine. Then there is the love affair between Lancelot and Arthur's wife Geneviere (Jenny), which for me was also very true to life and tender. When Arthur starts the quest for the Grail, everything gets a little theoretical. Lancelot's wish to find god left me cold, but I guess that's just the nature of things for a heathen. Still, I found many quotes in the book worth remembering. And, other than some reviewers here say, in my opinion White drew the picture of a real woman in Jenny. Some passages felt a little hurried though and left me with the impression that White just wanted to get on with the story and couldn't be bothered telling it in detail. It ends with Lancelot being saved, and he cries like a child that has been beaten (can't look up the correct wording at the moment, sorry). This is your White in a nutshell. It makes me happy that he managed to find a positive finale in his books.

  • Brian Eshleman
    2018-11-11 13:16

    The dark emotions within Lancelot and "adult" subject matter of an affair make it hard to believe that this story has been fare for children. More puzzling still is that White will allude to the wound within him and comment on its impact on his adulthood, but then he makes no attempt to really explore it. His narrator plainly says that we cannot know from this distance what wounded him so deeply. The author's tendency to move from probing, and even uncomfortable, examination of his characters' innermost thoughts to suddenly looking from 30,000 feet and zooming over decades at a time is disconcerting.Nevertheless, this book deserves its reputation as a classic. It is at once poignant and candid. The conflicts it explores with and without its characters are timeless, and White makes this point even without Merlin's time-traveling perspective to describe events in Arthur's time with analogies familiar to the 20th and 21st century reader. I laughed. I cried, or came close. And I will be sure to work the final book of this tragic and compelling saga into my reading cycle.SECOND READING: Forget disconcerting. This book was magical, even more so on rereading.

  • Suncerae
    2018-11-14 06:21

    The Ill-Made Knight is a story primarily concerned with Lancelot. Lancelot believes he is "ill-made" because of he is described as ape-like and ugly, with ears that stick out straight from his head. Instead, we find Lancelot is obsessed with being pure, a true Athurian knight, who seeks God, but despite the attempt to achieve perfection, Lancelot proves most fallible, again and again. Lancelot's search for true chivalry is set against the desire of most men to fight and kill, a desire for a time "when men could be men". Lancelot's story fills in between the lines of what living under Arthur's reign could have been, and his complexity brought the legend to life.

  • Norman Cook
    2018-11-07 09:19

    Retro-Hugo Award Finalist (1940)This is the story of Sir Lancelot, the best of Arthur's knights. The overreaching theme is Lancelot's love for Guenever, but the book itself is a series of episodes that are only loosely connected. White writes with a sense of humor and doesn't get bogged down with too many details. If you're only familiar with modern adaptations of the Arthurian legend, you owe it to yourself to read this definitive version.

  • Sean
    2018-10-25 12:17

    Poor Guenever. An author must someday do her some justice. She exists here solely as a temptress and hotheaded bitch, which is unfair. Lancelot receives better treatment by far, as a flawed human who we love regardless.

  • Atharva Shah
    2018-11-04 11:01

    It's interesting to see how each book / volume from the once and the future king series progresses and grows more mature, brining in delicate and sensitive issues. Even the language and the tone of writing is different. In the Ill made knight the central story focused on the revered and legendary Sir Lancelot, the best knight of Arthur and his services and secrets and associations with Guinevere, Arthur's wife. The story is not at all humorous and it does not follow a straight plotline. There are 2 time leaps in the book. A 2 year leap and a major 15 year leaf. So the book covers around 19-20 years of Lancelot's life. The story begins with a nice and antithesis introduction about Lancelot. He is depicted as ugly and bedraggled in the book, opposing his ideal form. His dedication and the willingness to serve God and Arthur grows throughout the book and we all can see that it's very passionate. I really Miss Merlin's and Arthur's storyline. I would rate it a bit bad than the Sword in the Stone and somewhat better than Queen of Air and Darkness. The main characters are very influential. Especially the women. The women like Elaine and Guinevere also play a central, major, melodramatic, emotional and a strong central role. There are a lot of new knights introduced along with additions to the Orkney faction and Mordred. There are a lot of deaths too. Around 10 new knights and 30 deaths. The chemistry between Lancelot and Guinevere is truly beautiful, it personifies and emphasizes love, want,desires, aspirations and a lot of other things like hatred, jealousy, sin, realization,etc. It brings up human feelings and desires,especially about a women's nature and her wants. Guinevere is portrayed like a crystal clear glass. The characters of Elaine is calm, truthful and dedicated and full of hope. There are a lot of side quests involved with acts of bravery and saviours. Lancelot protects and guards his kingdom and king very well. We don't see much of Arthur just some bits here and there. What I don't like about the book is the description and detailed emotional plot, lack of action (even though we see many fights), lack of a straight plot, no clear conclusion" objective, use of unclear and difficult language, hard o understand. Anyway, its an average book but beginners shouldn't read this. Go, do some middle age study and then visit this book. Nice Reading. Hoping to finish the next soon.

  • TG Lin
    2018-11-09 07:05

    看完了懷特版亞瑟王傳說系列的第三部小說《殘缺騎士(The Ill-Made Knight)》。整體上說來,這段故事與前兩冊不同,主題相當「灰暗」。而我個人特別偏愛這種寫作的基調。 本書的「主角」,被代換成那位有名的「蘭斯洛(Lancelot)」,亞瑟王不過是個戴綠帽的配角。《殘缺騎士》從頭到尾,都在描寫蘭斯洛的奇遇冒險,以及他心中對於關妮薇王后的愛情、對於亞瑟王的尊敬、對於上帝的虔誠、對於情婦伊蓮與私生子的責任,在種種情緒的交錯痛苦掙扎之下,如何度過他由少年直到中年這漫長的二十多年的時光。 以前就想過,如果故事的主角從頭到尾都沒什麼「改變」,那麼那則長篇故事,只能以觸動讀者的「崇拜」、而無法讓讀者「代入」。前不久看的甄子丹版的電影《葉問》,三集的主角,大概屬於這一範疇︰故事一開始的主角是道德完人,故事結束時的主角仍是道德完人。在我的年少時代,也愛看這種故事。但隨著自己步入中年之後,卻逐漸開始更加欣賞「主角會改變」的故事主旨,無論是由「好變壞」或「由壞變好」,主角在開始與結束,是兩種不同形象的人了。 因此這部《殘缺騎士》中,主角蘭斯洛的心境,從頭到尾都在不斷地改換;而反應在現實上,他又不斷地打破他的原則。他不想背叛亞瑟王,最後還是背叛了;他不想與王后維持那場畸戀,最後還是耦合;他向情婦伊蓮承諾將陪伴他們母子,最後還是離開了;他在追尋聖杯過程中感受到了神的恩典,最後還是屈服在塵間的欲望。這種主題若寫得不好,讀者只會覺得主角是個人渣。但這篇故事裡,作者很用力地刻劃了主角的心境轉變、以及他因此而受到的內心煎熬,使得讀者更有將讀書時的感情「代入」依據。 不過我比較覺得奇怪的,是作者在書中不斷強調中古原版傳說——比如他直接說他要略過亞瑟帶兵攻打羅馬的這一段,並在自己的書中還提醒大家,關於這段事蹟要「去看馬洛禮的書」——彷彿他這套書只是正版書的一個通俗注本一樣。難道作者不想要「獨立」嗎(笑)?

  • Jenny Chase
    2018-11-08 12:02

    The central three books of The Once and Future King are some of my favourite books of all time, and unfortunately make me cry buckets every time I read them. After the silliness of The Sword in the Stone, this really expands on the idea that King Arthur's tragedy was that he tried to use force majeure to end the rule of force majeure, and he tried other things which sounded promising, too, but (minor spoiler) he never did find the way.It's beautiful, simple, lambent prose ("Guinevere was neither good nor bad, neither entirely loyal nor disloyal... she was a real person"). I love the telling of the Grail quest through the ones who came back, telling a serious and religious story through the people least able to take it seriously. I also love poor Arthur - only an ordinary person really, cursed by destiny and Merlyn to wrestle with insoluble problems and human nature.

  • Maureen
    2018-11-09 11:19

    The Ill-Made Knight was much harder to get into then the first two books in this series which is why it took me just over a month to finish. The spin on Lancelot as ugly God obsessed knight, Gwenivere as ageing woman past her prime and in love with an ideal and a man, Elaine as dumpy try hard and Arthur as the man and King who sees it all but does nothing because of his own ideals is interesting, but the novel is too long with too many asides. The most interesting moments for me were the ones which dealt with Arthur's realisation of the failings of his Round Table because without Might, what fills the gap? It's an interesting philosophical quandary and will clearly rear its head in Book 4.

  • M
    2018-10-24 08:25

    A how-to manual on how to be a really good knight and a really shitty friend to the King of England. This was probably the best of the pentalogy in terms of characterization and plot, but the worst because of how dirty everybody's doing my boy Arthur, non-stop. He's just tryna save the world and his best friend and hot wife are cuckin him for like fifty consecutive years. SAD!

  • Andrus
    2018-11-11 12:27

    This book gets a pitty 3 stars because I enjoyed the series, however the slow pace of this book leaves not wanting more, therefore I have yet to pick up the fourth book. If possible I'd skim read this and see what the next book is about. In all fairness there are highlights in this book that pushed me to finish it.

  • Elise
    2018-10-28 06:10

    TH White presents the Authorian Legends warts and all (excuse the pun). Everyone wants chivalry but they frequently fail. Still, these are relatable characters despite their flaws. Highly recommended.

  • Daniel Farrelly
    2018-10-30 07:30

    Its a fun book, but geeze does it get tiring. Forty-five freaking chapters of guinevere and lancelot stringing each on, fucking around and being on-and-off again. It really could have ended 20 chapters earlier.

  • Bryan Lambert
    2018-10-23 05:27

    "He loved Arthur and he loved Guenever and he hated himself." By far the best book in the The Once and Future King so far. Lancelot could have been a monster, but he wasnt and that made him a fantastic character. He was nearly invincible, emotionaly vulnerable, flawed and hopeful.

  • Matt
    2018-11-05 11:13

    WOW!The Sword in the Stone was fun.The Witch in the Wood was weird.The Ill Made Knight was emotionally gut wrenching and penetratingly thought provoking.The only versions of Lancelot I had ever known were from the musical Camelot, the movie First Knight (with Richard Gere), and Monty Python.This is not the Lancelot I knew. This is not the handsome young man who brags about his "humility" and sneaks around with Arthur's wife and destroys the kingdom when they are found out.First - Lancelot is ugly. Here are a few descriptions:"The boy's face was as ugly as a monster's in the King's menagerie. He looked like an African ape.""The grotesque magnificent shell with a face like Quasimodo's"Lancelot was hideous. From the time he was a boy he wanted to be a knight at King Arthur's Round Table. He wanted to be "the best knight in the world." He studied and practiced throughout his childhood. He wanted to have absolute strength, skill, and also purity. He wanted God to bless him and allow him to perform miracles.The book is the story of his three loves:1. Arthur - as the perfect father figure and king.2. Guenevere - He loved her forever, but love for her interfered with his other two loves.3. God - If he wasn't pure before God, nothing else mattered to him.Lancelot does become "the best knight in the world" and this is where the trouble starts. Everyone wants to challenge him, to beat him. All the people want him to be their champion, perform miracles, defeat all evil. The other Knights of the Round Table need him to save them from time to time, but many of them resent it.Yes, Lancelot does fall in love with Guenevere - and he does decide to sleep with her, but Arthur knows about it. He loves them both, and can't punish them. Arthur keeps them both at court for over 25 years because he loves them both. Guenevere is his romantic love, Lancelot his fraternal love. Lance is the "son" he never had, the perfect knight.Lancelot performs two miracles in his life. After the first, he commits his first moral sin and loses the power to perform miracles. He is unclean before God, and the gift is lost.Lance becomes the tragic hero. The man who wants to be perfect and can never quite reach perfection. He honestly tries, and the quest for perfection drives him mad. At one point he is thought to be dead as he spends years in the wilderness living off berries, mostly naked, taunted by children, feared by women, and mocked by men.When he goes on the quest for the Holy Grail he is permitted by God to see it, but not to enter the room or touch it. He is very pure, but not pure enough. It breaks his heart.The second miracle happens at the very end. He is asked to heal a wounded knight after all other 149 Knights of the Round Table fail. He walks down, and takes the knight in his arms."Lancelot looked into the East, where he thought God lived, and said something in his mind. It was more or less like this: "I don't want glory, but please can you save our honesty? And if you will heal this knight for the knight's sake, please do."The knight is healed, the whole kingdom cheers and "in the middle, quite forgotten... this lonely and motionless figure knew a secret which was hidden from the others. The miracle was that he had been allowed to do a miracle."You will think I'm silly or having delusions of grandeur - but I think I know how Lancelot felt.Though our lives are completely different, I felt as I read this book that Lancelot's mental struggles were exactly like my own.I have this desire inside me to be the best. I want to be the best at so many things. Not because I want to be better than others, but because I think I should work that hard. I want to be the best doctor. I want to be able to perform miracles. I mean that. I want to be so pure that God could work through me.Like Lancelot - I know I fall short. I don't even know if I want it for the right reasons. Lancelot repeatedly questioned his own motives. Was he doing great deeds for God? for country? for right? or for his own glory? This book resonated with me like few have because I saw my own struggle. The struggle in the mind to be the best, but not compare myself with others. The struggle for perfection, but for the right reasons. The struggle to figure out what really matters in life and who God really wants me to be. That was Lancelot's struggle, and that continues to be my own.I hope my end is better than Lancelot's.Favorite Quote: Arthur - "What I meant by civilization when I invented it, was simply that people ought not to take advantage of weakness." "People ought to be civil. But it has turned into sportsmanship. Merlin always said that sportsmanship was the curse of the world and so it is. My scheme is going wrong." "They are turning it into a competitive thing." "Everybody gossips and nags and hints and speculates bout who unseated whom last, and who has rescued the most virgins, and who is the best knight of the Table. I made it a round table to prevent that very thing, but it has not prevented it."