Date of Award

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Honors Project



First Advisor

Dr. Kevin Harty

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Kling


This paper seeks to evaluate the level of success of The Once and Future King by T.H. White. It examines the financial success of the book and its popularity among readers, both immediately upon publication and in later years. It also considers the book within its historical context, during and after World War II, and hypothesizes that the war negatively impacted the success of the book since it has a pacifist agenda. Finally, the paper examines White’s own goals and intentions while writing the book, and whether the book achieved those purposes. In order to study these matters, the text itself is closely analyzed, as well as private letters and diary entries of White and his friends. Book reviews and newspaper articles of the times of publication are also used to analyze the success of the book. The paper concludes that while White’s book was hugely successful financially and very popular among readers, both immediately and in later years, it failed to achieve its purposes, which were to find a solution to the problem of war, and to help future generations avoid war.