Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

King Arthur's Sword, sometimes confusingly equated with the Sword in the Stone but in fact the sword given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake. It symbolized Arthur's strength and Invulnerability, though the scabbard was more important than the sword: after the scabbard was stolen by Morgan Le Fay, Arthur's star began to fade. The sword (called Caliburnus by Geoffrey of Monmouth) also stood for Arthur's sovereignty, and with his passing it was returned to the Lady of the Lake by Sir Bedivere. Excalibur is the focus of King Arthur's Sword (1968) by Errol Le Cain (1941-1989). The name has lent itself to the title of another children's novel, Excalibur (1973) by Sanders Anne Laubenthal, where it turns up in the USA, the movie Excalibur (1981) and an anthology, Excalibur (anth 1995) ed Richard Gilliam (1950-    ), Martin H Greenberg and Edward Kramer. [MA]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.