Inside Merlin’s Cave brings King Arthur back to Cornwall. Selections from Geoffrey of Monmouth, Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and A S Smith’s Cornish language masterpiece Trystan hag Ysolt (Tristan and Isolt), as well as numerous poems, commentaries, prophecies and plays, including the full text of Thomas Hardy’s Queen of Cornwall, establish Cornwall not just as the birthplace of King Arthur but as a source of all Arthurian themes.
Three important essays by the editors discuss the development of the Arthurian myth, not least through tourism and the heritage industry, its use in popular culture, as in George Lucas’ film Star Wars, and its impact on Cornish literature poetry and culture over a thousand years.
- Amy Hale is lecturer in Contemporary Celtic Studies at the Institute of Cornish Studies. in 1998 she was awarded a doctorate for her research into Celtic identities in Cornwall. Recent publications have included chapters in Celtic Geographies and Cornish Studies as well as reviews for Folklore. She is co-editor of New Directions in Celtic Studies.
- Alan M. Kent was born in St Austell, Cornwall, in 1967. He is a prize-winning poet, novelist and dramatist and author and editor of a number of works on Cornish and Anglo-Cornish literature, including Looking at the Mermaid, a Reader in Cornish Literature 900–1900, two anthologies of Anglo-Cornish poetry, Voices from West Barbary and The Dreamt Sea, and an acclaimed translation of the Cornish Mystery play cycle, The Ordinalia. Two of his other plays are published by Francis Boutle Publishers: Oogly es Sin and The Tin Violin.
- Tim Saunders is one of the leading poets writing in Cornish today. He is the author of poetry and jounalism in Welsh, Irish and Breton as well as Cornish and he is the editor of The Wheel – an anthology of modern poetry in Cornish 1850–1980. He is a bard of the Cornish Gorseth.