Dr. C.J. Jeney reports: Over Spring Break, the ENG 361 Lit on Site class went to England in search of King Arthur. The trip began with guided tours of historic sites and museums in London, including the Tower of London, and the Museum of London. After that, the coach swept us off to places of Arthurian and Medieval legend: Glastonbury, Bath, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, Tintagel, Canterbury, Dover, and Leeds.
We visited the castle ruins at Tintagel in Cornwall, the birthplace of Arthur, and the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, wherein we found Arthur's burial place. We wandered the ruins of Old Sarum, (one of William the Conquerer's headquarters, and the place where the Domesday Book was begun). The trip included a tour of Leeds Castle in Kent, so that we could see a medieval castle actually maintained as a family home throughout the centuries--definitely not a ruin. Our pilgrimage ended in Canterbury, with a visit to the great Cathedral there.
Did we find King Arthur? We think so--he seems to still live in a quiet place within the heart of England...
Although the British seem a bit embarrassed about him, and claim that he's as fictional as our American Mickey Mouse, they still preserve the places immortalized in the famous tales by Malory, Chretien, the Pearl Poet, Marie de France, Chaucer, and other great storytellers.
If you see someone from this semester's ENG 361 class, be sure to ask about our adventures in the UK!