Skinner, Martyn

Tagged: Author

(1906-1993) UK poet best known for the three volumes of Letters to Malaya (coll 1941 chap, coll 1943 chap and coll 1947 chap), but whose most ambitious works were two long narrative poems. The Return of Arthur sequence – comprising Merlin; Or, the Return of Arthur: A Satiric Epic (1951 chap), The Return of Arthur: A Poem of the Future (1955) and The Return of Arthur: A Poem of the Future: Part II (1959 chap), all three assembled, with much expanded climax, as The Return of Arthur: A Poem of the Future (omni 1966) – is set in a Near Future England transformed into a totalitarian Dystopia; but a reborn Arthur from another Dimension returns, and the Matter of Britain [for Arthur and Matter see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] is again told as the Millennium approaches. Skinner's choice of verse form is the rhyme-royal stanza used by Geoffrey Chaucer (1344-1400). His second sequence – the Old Rectory series comprising Old Rectory or The Interview: Prologue in Two Concurrent Scenes (1970 chap), Old Rectory or The Interview: The Session in Seven Scenes (1973) and Old Rectory or The Interview: Epilogue in Seven Scenes (1977 chap) – is also set some time hence, in a Ruined Earth Britain, where a hermit mage named Old Rectory decides to return to society and redeem it. [JC]

Martyn Skinner

born 24 August 1906

died Fitzhead, Somerset: 25 October 1993



Return of Arthur

Old Rectory


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