As most readers of this journal know, in July 2011, the XXIIIrd meeting of the International Arthurian Society—organized by Elizabeth Archibald and Ad Putter—took place in Bristol, England. Over the course of a week, hundreds of participants presented papers, attended sessions, enjoyed excursions to Arthurian sites, and connected with scholars and colleagues from all over the world. At the suggestion of the editors of Arthurian Literature (Elizabeth Archibald and David Johnson) it was also decided that Arthuriana and Arthurian Literature should join forces and publish the best of the papers presented at the conference. This issue of Arthuriana marks the culmination of over a year of collaborative work on the part of the editors of the respective journals. This year, the annual Arthurian Literature will feature articles that originated as papers presented at the conference, and all four issues of the quarterly Arthuriana will do the same. In other words, for both publications the year 2013 will be ‘the best of Bristol.’ In 2014 we will return to our regular publication schedule, with several fine articles already ‘in the chute.’
This first of the four special issues of Arthuriana features articles that are concerned in some way with eco-criticism, the natural world, landscapes, and geography. 23.2 will focus on representations of Merlin, while 23.3 and 23.4 are loosely organized around themes of Grail-ing, Arthurian legends as children’s literature, modern interpretations of the stories, and, appropriately, apocalypses and ends.
I would like to thank Elizabeth Archibald and David Johnson for their hard work and good cheer as we have embarked on this endeavor together; this collaborative project has been a pleasure and a privilege from its inception, and I look forward to future instances in which these two journals will work in concert to continue to bring the latest in important Arthurian scholarship to all those who study and love the legend. [End Page 3]