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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 42

Summary and Notes

Sir Meliagrance realizes that Lancelot will be out to capture Guenever, and he prepares an ambush for him. Meanwhile at his castle, Meliagrance designs a boudoir for Guenever; he is genuinely in love with the Queen and is trying desperately to make accommodations for her as seductive and comfortable as possible.

Guenever waits serenely for Lancelot to rescue her when a maid announces that a knight is arriving in a cart with an injured horse. The horse is dying, and Lancelot is in the cart, whipping it; he had been ambushed after all. The maid speculates that he will be hanged and Guenever lashes out at the maid. Meliagrance, seeing Lancelot arriving, panics and asks the Queen for mercy because he is terrified of the knight. Guenever is in a radiant and generous mood, and grants him forgiveness. Meliagrance offers his castle for the night for Lancelot and Guenever.


When Lancelot and Guenever see each other again, it is as if no time had passed and they were young lovers again.

In this chapter, Lancelotís chivalry and Gueneverís generosity are emphasized for the first time in many pages. It is as if they are young again, and their greatness transcends the petty and not-so-petty differences of the last ten or so chapters. This also re-establishes their love as eternal and not simply the fling that romantic legend has made it.

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