Some two decades ago, Rosemary Sutcliff, author of best-selling historical novel Sword at Sunset, suggested that :
“The Arthurian legend contains an essential truth, and I think at present we’re awfully uncertain of our future.Therefore we feel a kind of kinship for the Dark Ages; and I think for this reason we feel in a way the need for something to back us up, in the same way as Arthur ‘lights up’ the Dark Ages. We have a need for an archetype of some sort to pull us together, to get us through this, to spread light into the darkness until we can get through to a better world.”
Perhaps true of our times now as much as twenty years ago?
Rosemary Sutcliff wrote a best selling historical novel Sword at Sunset derived from the Arthurian legend. She thought the book the one of which she was most proud, for which she would most like to be remembered:
I do think that Sword at Sunset is the best thing I’ve ever written. And probably the best I ever will.
Source: Quondam et Futurus, Vol. 1, No. 4, Winter 1991 (supplied to me by Anne McFadgen – thank you!).