The adventures of King Arthur, his Knights of the Table Round, and the court of Camelot come to life in this lively and chivalrous retelling of some of the Arthurian legends. The book chronicles the adventures of Arthur as he draws the sword Excalibur from the anvil, proving his right to the throne, and as he courts and wins the heart of Guinevere. Later he suffers the treachery of the wicked Morgana le Fay and witnesses the tragic fate of Merlin. In Pyle’s classic retelling, the legends come alive in unsurpassed vividness. Stories of Arthur have enthralled and delighted generations of readers fascinated by chivalry, nobility, and the unforgettable drama of medieval times.
Renowned storyteller Howard Pyle uses old-style English, as in the excerpt below, to carry us back to the enchanting world of King Arthur and his noble knights of the Round Table.
“And this was the covenant of their Knighthood of the Round Table: That they would be gentle unto the weak; that they would be courageous unto the strong; that they would be terrible unto the wicked and the evil-doer; that they would defend the helpless who should call upon them for aid; that all women should be held unto them sacred; that they would stand unto the defense of one another whensoever such defense should be required; that they would be merciful unto all men; that they would be gentle of deed, true in friendship, and faithful in love. This was their covenant, and unto it did each knight sware upon the cross of his sword, and in witness thereof did kiss the hilt thereof.”
The excerpt above well sums up this book, in instances where these oaths are upheld; and if they are not, retribution always follows swiftly. In the land of Camelot, good deeds before God are of highest value, and wicked deeds are always subject to disapproval and punishment. Pyle also includes a “moral of the story” section at the end of most major book divisions. In these, for example, he makes allegories of Excalibur and its sheath to God’s Truth and faith, and does likewise with many things; always wishing to teach to us some truth through his writings about Arthur and his knights.
Note: These stories do contain references to magic and enchantment throughout, however good and evil are also clearly portrayed. The legends of Arthur are a part of understanding medieval times and show Britain at a time when the Christian religion was overtaking the religion of the Celtic Druids of the past. Known for his bravery, honor, and love, Howard Pyle’s rendition of Arthur’s noble traits illustrates the selflessness a king should have for his people. It was for these traits that Arthur would be remembered. Please note that this is the only version of the Arthurian legends that we recommend.