The Once and Future King/The Sword in the Stone/Chapter 1
The Once and Future King - Book I: The Sword in the Stone - Chapter 1
Plot summary[edit | edit source]
Chapter 1 introduces us to Wart and Kay, Sir Ector, Kay's father, and Sir Grummore, a visiting knight to Sir Ector's castle.
Sir Ector and Sir Grummore discuss the need for Kay and Art to be 'eddicated', that is, educated. They decide that a tutor is required, and that one must be found via a quest.
It is July, and hay-making season. The entire castle goes to work in the field, with Sir Ector directing the operations. A lengthy description is given of the hay-making process, and the roles the two boys play in it. Wart loves hay-making, and is good at it. Kay is not so good at it, but hates to be beaten, so works at it until exhaustion.
A storm breaks and ends the days hay-making, at which point Kay and Wart decide to take Cully, the castle's goshawk, from The Mews and go hawking. Wart is concerned as to whether Cully is in a fit state for hawking, as he is deep in the moult; Kay rashly overrules, however, and off they go. Wart's fears were not unfounded, it turns out, as the chapter ends with Cully brooding away from his masters in a tree.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
Anachronisms - Sir Ector Guinevere and Grummermore Grummersum are drinking port, a modern wine, as they discuss the need for an eddication. White reveals that they are in fact drinking metheglyn, but asserts it is easier for the reader to get the feel if port is mentioned. Similarly, Sir Grummore is said to suggest sending the boys to Eton for their education, but White then notes that Sir Grummore's actually talking about a similar institution, as Eton wasn't founded until 1440. Kay and Wart go rabbit hunting.