Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Skinner, Martyn

(1906-1993) UK narrative poet whose Sir Elfadore and Mabyna: A Poem in Four Cantos (1935) deals with the fringes of the Arthurian cycle (> Arthur), and whose Merlin; or The Return of Arthur (1951 chap) and The Return of Arthur: A Poem of the Future (1955) – both assembled and extended as The Return of Arthur: A Poem of the Future (1966) – explores the Matter of Britain far more thoroughly, and in a fashion that attempts to wed fantasy and sf. In the first part Merlin wakes the Once and Future King from his sleep under Avalon, along with some 20th-century heroes, and prepares them for the future; in the second part, the Companions take on the 1990s UK, which is threatened by Marxism; salvation comes in the full 1966 version. The epic is told in the rhyme-royal stanza form used by Lord Byron in Don Juan (1819-1824). Old Rectory, or The Interview (1977) is an sf poem, set in a post-Holocaust plague-devastated Somerset. [JC]

Martyn Skinner

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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.