In Knight for a Day most aspects of the life, atmosphere and beliefs at King Arthur's Court, Henry's adventure and the characters he meets (e.g. Merlin, Sir Perceval, King Arthur, Taliesin and Sir Mordred) are based not on 6th century British history but on 11th-14th century Romances about Arthurian myths and legends, as compiled by Sir Thomas Malory for his seminal work Le Morte d'Arthur (1485)

Our current perception of Camelot is strongly influenced by a golden era of Arthurian literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when abridged versions of Morte d'Arthur and new accounts such as Idylls of the King (Alfred Lord Tennyson 1858-85), A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court (Mark Twain 1889) and The Story of King Arthur and his Knights (Howard Pyle 1903) captured the public imagination. Their enduring influence today owes much to the striking associated paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood artists (e.g. Edward Burne-Jones) and some truly great book illustratorsJulia Cameron, Aubrey Beardsley, Gustav Doré, Walter Crane, Arthur Rackham & Henry J. Ford.

Significant among many more recent Arthurian novels are The Once and Future King (T.H.White 1958), The Merlin Trilogy (Mary Stewart 1970/9), The Road to Camlann (Rosemary Sutcliff (1981) and Excalibur  (Bernard Cornwell 1997). Several notable films colour our view of Camelot today, particularly Knights of the Round Table (1953) The Sword in the Stone (1963), Camelot (1967), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) Excalibur (1981), First Knight (1995) and King Arthur (2004), while BBC's TV series Merlin (2008-12) added a different interpretation.

Other eclectic themes in Knight for a Day concern time travel, magic and quests for truth or lost treasure, in the tradition of some of the greatest classic children's books and movies based on them, including Treasure Island (R.L.Stevenson), The Time Machine (H.G.Wells), The Narnia Chronicles (C.S.Lewis), Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (J.R.R.Tolkien) and The Harry Potter stories (J.K.Rowling)The films The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Back to the Future (1985) also inspired elements of the story.

 

Useful links for further Arthurian research:

The History Files A review of the 14 principal Celtic cultures claiming King Arthur as their own: Breton, Riothamus, Dumnonian, Cumbrian, Pennine, Elmet, Saxon Ally, Merionydd, Scotti, Powysian, Rhos, Dyfed, Glamorgan, St Arthmael and Roman.

Ramsdale Useful summary of Arthurian legends

A King Arthur reading list Very extensive list of Arthurian literature

The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page A thirteen part examination of Britain in the "Age of Arthur" - the 5th through the mid-6th centuries A.D. - being a period when the classical age of Greece and Rome gave way to the Germanic "Dark Ages".

Arthurian Legend Comprehensive Arthurian Legend website with search engine exclusively devoted to the Arthurian Legend

Arthurian Archaeology Article detailing the controversial link between legend and history.

Discovery of King Arthur's Tomb - Medieval Sourcebook Excerpt of a 1228 document by Gerald of Wales tells of the purported discovery of Arthur's body at the monastery in Glastonbury.

Melkin's Prophesy Document makes reference to a Celtic soothsayer's prophesy that locates the grave of Joseph of Arimathea, an Arthurian figure.

Time-line of Arthurian Britain Chronology includes both the events in Britain after the Roman exit, and the documentary evidence for Arthur's existence.

What Do Modern Historians Think of King Arthur ? Eighteen scholars from different backgrounds give their opinions as to the validity of historical claims for Arthur's existence.

Arthuriana Scholarly online journal about King Arthur and his era. Research dates and places, peruse the reading list, or access the newsletter and related links.

Celtic Twilight, The Resource dedicated to the legends and mythology of the Round Table. Find renderings of various tales, poetry, and an artist's gallery.

Early British Kingdoms Excerpts from the Britannia Travels as related to King Arthur and his court. Find a narrative history, an Arthurian time-line, and texts.

King Arthur - texts, images, and introductions Learn the background of King Arthur and other characters. Also offers a vast index of writings that examine and perpetuate the legend.

King Arthur on Britannia Link to sites entitled Tom Green's Arthurian Pages, Legends - King Arthur and the Matter of Britain, The Saxon Shore, and Llys Arthur.

The Labyrinth - Arthurian resources Contains links to 27 online sources including the Camelot Project, Arthuriana, the Oxford Arthurian Society and Avalon.