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King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Illustrated Junior Library) Hardcover – September 1, 1950
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The medieval setting is painted in a rather idealized fashion, limited to the nobility and figures of the court, who embrace all that is beautiful, brave and noble. These virtues are sometimes portrayed rather simplistically, as unknown knights engage in mortal combat, and only after they have virtually killed each other do the introductions begin: "What is your name?" Behind this medieval mayhem is a heightened sense of chivalry more reflective of legend than fact, where knights battle to the death for the sake of a woman - even one they have only just met. But isn't that what the Arthurian legends are all about? Nobody is under the illusion that they are to be taken too seriously. Journeying to Arthur's Camelot is a form of escapism - suspend your sense of disbelief, watch the flashing swords and fearful battles, and enjoy.
That's not to say that the Arthurian tales do not reflect any reality. Arthur's world is in many respects a real medieval world.Read more ›
The author, Sir James Knowles, was an architect and friend of Tennyson, best known for founding the Metaphysical Society; this is, therefore, a very Victorian Arthur. In this case, "victorian" means "bowdlerized to the point of inanity." The story of Merlin's enchantment of Uther and Igraine to arrange Arthur's conception is almost completely elided ("When Uther, therefore, was at length happily wedded" -- yep, that's the whole story); Sir Tristram is apparently completely chaste with Iseult (King Mark just doesn't like him for some indiscernible reason) and even when Lancelot and Guinevere are caught together and the entire course of the story turns on adultery, such that bowdlerization was completely impossible, Gawain suggests that "it may well be that Lancelot was in her chamber for no evil." The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is simply not included at all.
I suppose that kind of bowdlerization might be acceptable in a children's version of the Arthur stories, but this edition isn't good for that either, for two reasons: 1) like many free kindle ebooks, all illustrations have been removed, and 2) it's a kindle edition, and who gives a $250 ebook reader to a child too young to read a story with adultery in it?
There are other problems also.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading it to the 11 year old, and his interest stays lit. The language isn't dumbed down to insult the reader's intelligence, but it's easy enough for him to understand with the... Read morePublished 2 days ago by ivan offelitch
This was fascinating. I enjoyed it thoroughly. There seemed to be occasional duplication of phrases but overall it reads well.Published 4 days ago by Bill McDonald
This review is actually done by my 10 year old son. He loved the book.Published 5 days ago by Kelly Ruffner
Take forever to come! And the book have a lot of annotations!Published 1 month ago by Angela M. Stuart