Camelot is the legendary center of King Arthur's realm.


Camelot is a dream city, a Utopia, King Arthur's personal capital
where he dispenses justice, hosts feasts, and
surrounds himself with brave knights.

To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie Jura,

Ran across your provocative and thoughtful website when I was looking for an established definition of Camelot, thinking of the allusion with JFK-ography.

Amazingly, Camelot is not in the dictionary. It is not in the OED Concise, nor is it in the full volumed OED. I just think that is a real oversight. Or maybe a flagrant anti-Americanisation of English. The vague, mythical provenance of Camelot must surely be medieval England or British Isles at any rate, and yet it is not mentioned except as an obsolete version of camlet, the expensive blend of cashmere and wool.

Impressive, what?

-Prof. Helen Lauer
Philosophy Dept.
University of Ghana

Greetings Helen,

I'm glad your quest for Camelot brought you to "Orwell Today" where JFK-ography is a major theme.

It is amazing that "Camelot" isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary and I can't think of a logical reason for why it wouldn't be, especially with the legendary (perhaps mythical) KING ARTHUR & THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE originating in England (or Scotland, or Wales).

It's in the dictionary I use here in my office (the World Book Dictionary, published in Chicago, Illinois, USA) and it does mention JFK:

Camelot - noun - 1.a legendary place in Britain where King Arthur had his palace and court: Turned to towered Camelot (Tennyson) 2.Figurative: a time or place of enchantment and glamour: those who joined President Kennedy's administration immediately after his inauguration, those who came to Camelot (Harper's).

It's a bit godcidental you're writing from Ghana because that country has JFK connections. In 1961 Ghana was the first country to benefit from the PEACE CORPS which JFK founded immediately after he became president, fulfilling one of the promises made in his Inaugural Address:

"...To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge: to convert our good words into good deeds, in a new alliance for progress, to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty....My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."

All the best,
Jackie Jura

JFK Statement Upon Signing Order Establishing the Peace Corps, March 1, 1961 ("I have today signed an Executive Order providing for the establishment of a Peace Corps on a temporary pilot basis. I am also sending to Congress a message proposing authorization of a permanent Peace Corps. This Corps will be a pool of trained American men and women sent overseas by the U.S. Government or through private institutions and organizations to help foreign countries meet their urgent needs for skilled manpower...")


JFK Remarks about founding the Peace Corp (At 2:00 a.m. on October 14, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy addressed students on the steps of the University of Michigan Union. In his speech, he challenged the students to give two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world.)

Legendary Places (Camelot is the legendary center of King Arthur's realm. Camelot is first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes's Lancelot; and the name does not even appear in all manuscripts of that poem. Camelot is a dream city, a Utopia, King Arthur's personal capital where he dispenses justice, hosts feasts, and surrounds himself with brave knights. Camelot has come to be associated more with the values Camelot is believed to have represented than an actual place. If King Arthur did exist, his stronghold, his Camelot, would not have resembled a many spired palace, it would have been more basic and the inhabitants would have survived under near constant warfare....)

King Arthur and the Legend of the Knights of the Round Table


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~