Vintage - King Arthur - Sir Lancelot and Elaine Poster
This beautifully detailed vintage illustration of Sir Lancelot and Elaine, is from a book in public domain - King Arthur and his Knights by Maude Radford Warren. Illustrated by Walter J. Enright and J. Allen St. John, copyright 1903. The picture is titled "Sir Lancelot Rode Sadly Away and Did Not Look Up at Elaine." Elaine fell in love at first sight with Sir Lancelot upon him visiting their home, asking to borrow a disguise for an upcoming tournament, leaving his well known shield for safe keeping. Elaine talked Sir Lancelot into accepting a token to wear at the tournament from her. During the tournament, Sir Lancelot was badly wounded. Elaine heard the news and ended up nursing him back to health. Upon leaving Elaine declared her love, but Sir Lancelot was unable to return her feelings. He did not turn to wave goodbye as he left as to not encourage her love. She died of a broken heart. Upon hearing the news, Sir Lancelot arranged a funeral fit for a queen. Over Elaine's grave was raised a beautiful tomb on which was carved her figure, with the left hand holding a lily; at her feet lay the shield of Sir Lancelot, and the sad story of her death was written on the tomb in letters of gold and blue. King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Mediaeval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. Although the themes, events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the wizard Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann and final rest in Avalon. Since there is no conclusive evidence for or against Arthur's historicity, the debate will continue. But what can not be denied is the influence of the figure of Arthur on literature, art, music, and society from the Middle Ages to the present.