Edward III's Round Table at Windsor: The House of the Round Table and the Windsor Festival of 1344 (Arthurian Studies)

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9781843833918: Edward III's Round Table at Windsor: The House of the Round Table and the Windsor Festival of 1344 (Arthurian Studies)
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The image of King Arthur's Round Table is well-known, both as Thomas Malory's portrayal of a fellowship of knights dedicated to the highest ideals of chivalry, and as the great wooden table at Winchester castle. Now a dramatic archaeological find at Windsor castle sheds new light on the idea of a round table as a gathering: the 'House of the Round Table' which Edward III ordered to be constructed at the conclusion of his Windsor festival of 1344.
The discovery of the foundation trench of a great building two hundred feet in diameter in the Upper Ward of Windsor castle, allows the reconstruction of that building's appearance and raises the question of its purpose. Chronicles, building materials inventories from the royal accounts, medieval romances, and earlier descriptions of round table festivals all confirm the archaeological evidence: at a time when secular orders of knighthood were almost unknown, Edward declared his intention to found an Order of the Round Table with three hundred knights. This grand building, and the Arthurian entertainments he planned for it, would bind his nobles to his cause at a crucial point in his progress to claiming the throne of France.
His ambitious scheme, however, was overtaken by events. Victory at Crécy in 1346 confirmed Edward's reputation, and the order which he founded in 1348 was the much more exclusive Order of the Garter, rewarding those commanders who had helped him to win the Crécy campaign. His reputation was assured, the omens for his reign were auspicious; he had the loyalty of his knights and magnates. The Round Table building was abandoned, and eventually pulled down in the 1360s. Thus a major plank in the strategic thinking of one of England's greatest kings almost became a footnote in history.

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This fascinating study of a fantastical building takes a suitably multi-disciplinary approach. (...) Supplemented with documentary appendices and splendid illustrations, this in-depth study explores the historical background to a modern archaeological discovery, detailing its analogues and inspirations, ultimately revealing that role-playing games are nothing new; it can't be praised enough. --Pendragon

A splendidly produced volume. --Times Literary Supplement

It is praiseworthy to have here such a really informative, well-illustrated and well-documented volume within only twenty-one months of the excavation. A superb book, which reflects great credit on authors and publishers alike. --English Historical Review

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9781843833130: Edward III's Round Table at Windsor: The House of the Round Table and the Windsor Festival of 1344 (Arthurian Studies)

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Publisher: Boydell Press, 2007
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Book Description Boydell Press, 2008. Soft cover. Condition: New. 2nd Edition. New trade PB 282 pp. with index. Illustrated with colour and B&W plates, line illustrations and tables. In 1344, King Edward began to build a house at Windsor called 'The Round Table' with the intention of founding a new order of 300 Knights. See scanned image of back for more information. Seller Inventory # ABE-4372161285276865422

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