1 Apr 2014

Idylls of the King


Our reading of The Iliad last year has created a monster. Or rather, it has created a great love of epic poetry in my daughter and me. It that the same thing? Last term we devoured Beowulf and The Green Knight. This term, to our great delight we have started Tennyson's Idylls of the King.

The photos here are a bit of a fraud ( it is April Fool's Day, after all), since my book of poetry abridged the Idylls, and so we're reading off a kindle version, which is far more practical, but produces somewhat less atmospheric photographs. In our kindle version, we need to read five pages per day to get through the poem in a term, and so we just read to there, and then look for a sensible place to end. This poem is such a delight, that we're finding it hard to stop, but it is early days as yet.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is the scheduled AO poet for this term, AO7 Term 2. He was probably the most important poet of the Victorian period, and his works include some of the finest poetry in the English language. It is exciting to be studying him together with Jemimah. The Idylls of the King is one of his best-known compositions and it is a delightful read aloud.

One of the things I love about CM homeschooling is the opportunity to continue my own education. Despite having studied English literature in the upper forms, I had never read epic poems, and I just adore them. I'm so glad Jemimah has a chance to know and love them too.

Maybe next term we'll read Keats' Endymion!



  1. I've never read most of those poems either. I must do that. We seem to be deep in high school maths at the moment! I do remember reading a book of Robin Hood written as a poem and we read the whole thing in one day. I too, love the fact that I am continuing my education while home schooling.

  2. Lydia loved Idylls of the King! I have a beautiful 1926 edition with illustrations. :-D Lydia is really drawn to all those epic poems. She did her summary of Sir Gawain in poetry format. Summarizing a poem with a poem. LOL.

  3. I'm not so much into epic poetry. I think those sort of stories are done better in prose. I think it's really hard to maintain a high poetic standard throughout. And yes, I think you know I've read most of what you mention. However one of the joys of homeschooling is you can cater to everyone's differences so more power to you & Jemimah! Besides I tend to get sidetracked by the history. lol Beowulf fascinates me because it seems to be recalling some sort of actual event & many of the people & places mentioned actually existed. I have a peculiar mind!

  4. I sometimes looked on homeschool as my own secret, guilty pleasure--getting the education I would have LOVED as a kid, but appreciating it even more in my 40s. Great post.

  5. Hi Jeanne, Could I include this in this week's Carnival of Homeschooling? :-)

  6. Of course! Thanks, Mama Squirrel.


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...