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King Arthur & His Knights: Childrens Classics

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  6,940 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
Sir James Knowles' epic tale of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Tale is resurrected in this ornate children's edition. Intricate black-and-white drawings of knights, damsels in distress, and wizards add to the mystery and folklore of Sir Arthur. Perfectly suited as both a "read aloud" book or for more advanced readers to conquer themselves, children of all ages will be ...more
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published October 13th 1987 by Children's Classics (first published 1860)
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Jul 26, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Shelves: fantasy, dnf
I have this affliction. If I start a book, I HAVE to finish it. All my life, pretty much. I'm not sure I remember when I last (or ever) didn't finish a book. Until now.

All my knowledge of the Arthurian legends is hearsay or pop-culture interpretations, so when I bought a Kindle and saw all the classics I could get for free, I jumped right on this one as a chance to get some more "original" references to King Arthur in my cultural experiences. Oh, how I wish I hadn't bothered.

Firstly, the writing
Jan 11, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was able to read this by myself so apparently I'm an 'advanced' reader. Take that, middle school accelerated reader tests!

Anyhow, when I was younger I really liked this book. Exciting fights, quests to save princesses, rescuing villages from giants, etc. It was a lot of fun.

Now that I'm older it seems more like the story of a bunch of sociopaths wandering the countryside and picking fights with each other because their 'honor' demands it.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. The cannibalistic giants n
Andrew Obrigewitsch
I'm going to be charitable and give this 2 stars. These stories may have been entertaining 400 years ago, but literature has greatly advanced, and societally has advanced from being mostly illiterate to highly literate.

These stories may be fun to read one a night to your kids, but when done rapidly they wear on one, the characters have no personality and the action consists of sentence after sentence of who smote who with their sword, and then at the end a helm gets cleaved in two, rinse repeat
May 08, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is good to read one of the sources that inspired later renditions. I am depressed to hear some disrespecting the story because they have trouble with an older style of writting. Folks, this is the bedrock and foundation of the later tales which have been such a mine for later authors. (That is, grist for the mill.) This is that which inspired the later tales, if you can't see what inspired the authors of later ages, then perhaps you lack the deeper vision.
May 08, 2012 Duncan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story itself is pretty dull: fight a battle, do great deeds, slay the enemy, rescue a damsel or escape from an evil sorceress, fight another battle, do great deeds, slay the enemy, go hunting or jousting, fight another battle...

There's little character development. The men are pretty much all brave and heroic and little more, and the women are virtually all either fair maidens in need of rescue or enchantresses trying to do something awful. The story doesn't really develop either. Arthur bec
Ellen Trautner
This took me awhile to read because it was my bedtime reading book, and it kept putting me to sleep! More than normal reading does, that is. The whole first half of the book was boringly repetitive, if it was just that, it would have only earned 2 stars from me. The second half picked up, thankfully, and was a much quicker read. It was more what I expected.

I chose to read this because I am very unfamiliar with the Camelot story. I've seen Monty Python... and that's about it. Never read any more
Feb 03, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Artù è un altro dei vecchi amici con cui non andavo a parlare da un po' di tempo, e che un po' mi è mancato, via, anche se ci sono momenti in cui io, al proprietario di Excalibur, darei anche un paio di ceffoni... Ma questa è una faccenda tra Artù e me. ;)

Ogni tanto, con quello che sentiamo in giro, con le persone che incontriamo, con il valore che viene dato a lealtà e sincerità (di cavalleria non parlerò nemmeno), sognare con i Cavalieri della tavola Rotonda fa bene.
Barb Middleton
Oct 08, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harumph. I didn't expect that. I've read so many books based on the Arthurian legend that I thought it would be a sword and sorcery fantasy plot with the character development of King Arthur. Scrap that thought. Character development takes a back seat to a series of chain-linked mini adventures connected to the knights of the Round Table fighting battles or single combats. King Arthur is hardly even in it. Or Merlin for that matter. The sword and the stone, the quest for the Holy Grail, and the ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 17, 2014 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended for fans of Arthurian lore.

Inspired by the 19th century popularity of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (the introduction makes much of the author’s friendship with Tennyson), this retelling is based on Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. I grew up on the Malory edition edited by Pollard (with Arthur Rackham’s wonderful illustrations), so these two books ought to be quite similar. Are they? Hmm. I haven’t read my old book in a while – though it’s now available free from http
Orla Agnew
Tbh didn't finish this which is like totally out of character for me but it was a bit boring and I was having to force myself to read it so it wasn't as enjoyable as I'd have hoped
Ben Hilburn
Jun 16, 2014 Ben Hilburn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've always wanted to read the King Arthur tales, and this appeared to be the "real original" set of stories, passed down hundreds of years ago and finally recorded for posterity.

Unfortunately, I have this problem where once I start a book I feel like I have to finish it, even if it's killing me. These stories are atrocious.

The one lesson from this book is that if anyone ever complains that "chivalry is dead" or wishes for the return of "chivalry", they have clearly never read this book. Apparen
Brittani Ivan
The lengths to which this would go to avoid the more unsavoury bits of Arthurian Literature were hilarious. This is definitely an abridgment meant for children, but it retains much of the spirit of the original tales it compresses (although, as one commenter noted, his abridgment has lost some of the thematic depth that prevents the knights from always coming across as murderous psychopaths). I would recommend it to other readers of Arturian literature and to scholars of the Victorian age, as it ...more
Anne Lydolf
May 04, 2016 Anne Lydolf rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
A very long, very repetitive story about a bunch of hotheaded idiots that only care about fighting and killing. They fight whoever they meet over the smallest things and without asking names. That leads to many misunderstandings of killing friends and family... Every other line of this story is someone starting a fight and killing someone over nothing. Its a wonder any grown men are even alive still. Plain horrible.
Mar 20, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this material is much better handled by filmmakers and TV producers than lowly readers like myself. I had trouble with the language, and it was not helped by the fact that this kindle edition was sloppy, with many repeats and restarts. I like the underlying adventure, but the writing was far too ornate for my taste.
Dec 16, 2013 Rina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome series! I just loved it. There are many things about elves, faeries, enchanted creatures, and even romance. This was totally the kind of book that I like, as I love things about the medieval times.
Daniel Carr
I was unfortunately disappointed with this collection of stories. I can appreciate the attempt to render a tale of these classic figures with accuracy, but the genre and style seemed so rambling and dry that it ruined much of the magic. It seemed fixated on telling assorted tales one after another without much character or plot development. Also, we see a clearly simple anthropology - man and woman are stereotypes and good and evil look a certain way.

One thing I did appreciate was the clear conn
Jan 06, 2017 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Arthurian legends. I've read at least half a dozen versions and several more fictionalized stories. this was by far the WORST one. it made me hate everyone involved. and please don't read it in Kindle - the print to ebook is by far the WORST I've seen as well. so many typos and repeats! this book was very tedious to read. got better the last 2 chapters
Feb 03, 2017 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
got fairly repetitive by the end, but not an awful book
Jan 16, 2017 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The entire book was worth reading just for the last two chapters. Those chapters alone would get a 5 star rating the rest of the book I would give a 3.
Dec 30, 2016 Ramya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave up about halfway through this book. Its certainly not what I expected: an exciting and interesting series of almost fairy tales. Instead it was a book largely lacking in common sense or any resemblance to reality. By that, I don't mean the fantasy world that the stories are in, I mean the utter unbelievable idiocy of the characters.

I can imagine that this book was popular in a world where books were rare and stories were largely told through word of mouth. But we're past the time when we
Aug 12, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
It took me far too long to finish this book...

To be fair, this is due in no small part to a busy schedule; but it is also due to the fact that my literary tastes don't include such archaic prose. The book shows its age not only in language and style, but also in attitudes toward gender roles and politics.

Still, it's an interesting read, if only to familiarize oneself with some of the earlier writings on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. While most of us know the basic story of Arth
Feb 05, 2014 Jessiqa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
This book is a retelling of Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur and was first published in 1862. It includes many of the stories from Malory’s book, including sections dedicated to Sirs Gawain, Gareth, Lancelot, and Tristan. Having read Malory and other Arthurian texts, these stories were not new to me, but still made me smile. It was like visiting an old friend.

There are always parts that mystify me as a modern reader, like how many times knights will ride their horses so long and so hard that the hors
Nola Redd
Over and over while reading the biographies of the British monarchs and their love affairs with the tales of King Arthur did I vow to read the legends myself. Anon, I rushed to Amazon to capture the free version and make it my own. Such tidings truly are the stuff of legends, and deserving of attention if only for their historical fame and role in the literature to follow, but alas I cannot claim to have truly enjoyed them.

In many ways, one would think the stories ought to be gripping. The chapt
Andy Bryant
Oh my. This has shattered a few myths I’ve had about the legend of King Arthur and has knights, all of which I’ve gleaned from numerous popular culture interpretations in film and TV (my kids are huge Merlin fans).

Myth one, I thought there was a bit more to the knights, since they were always supposed to be on noble quests with a high purpose, yet ALL they do is fight. THAT IS IT. Never in my life have I read so much smoting, buffeting of the helm or cleaving straight through the head down to th
Sep 10, 2014 Ariana rated it it was ok
This was a rather disappointing read but at least I can see how storytelling has evolved over the centuries. I'm sure the story is more impressive when told orally, especially with the quick narration, but as a book it doesn't do the myth of King Arthur justice. Also, I'd probably not recommend this book for children because of the violence (there are so many beheadings) and the glorifying of it but I can imagine it being told, ages ago, to youngsters around the fire to arouse their desire for a ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Gene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy, fiction
I had a love/hate relationship with this book.

First, let me say that I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook. The narration was terrific and the performance was very good. But the story had issues.

I understand that this was a classic book, with language from another time. But the wording was painful. Nearly every battle sounded alike. In fact, if the word "smote" was removed, you'd lose a significant percentage of the book! The battles were frequently similar and seemed to add little to th
This book is a direct reprint of the original Knowles book which itself was a reworking or compilation of Sir Thomas Mallory's stories about King Arthur. One needs to know this fact right from the start of the book as the language and writing style is very old fashioned, slightly florid, and sometimes difficult to read. Still for those who love Arthurian literature, this book will be a very good resource as it is an unabridged collection of Mallory's tales as retold by Knowles. It was a very pop ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book at all, and that was a shame as I had longed to read the Arthurian legends for a while now. However, I found this book ponderous, over-written and at times insulting.

The author goes at great lengths to anglicise-Arthur which in itself is understandable as his legend has him as Britain's greatest king and that Camelot is traditionally in England.

However, what is not necessary is the demonization of the Welsh, Irish and particularly the Scots. As a Scotsman I found this h
Dec 11, 2010 Tommy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It was kind of interesting to hear some of the stories of King Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table but at the same time there was a lot of 'they fought for a really long time and then one knight struck the on the head down too his shoulder' and 'there was a sword that no one could get for whatever reason (stuck in a stone, enchanted) except for the noblest/best/whatever knight'. These themes were a little monotonous for my liking.

In terms of genres for comparison I found myself comparing th
Tait Sougstad
Oct 20, 2012 Tait Sougstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If for nothing else, this was an interesting study of how the "golden age" of King Arthur's legendary realm was one of pseudo-Christian syncretism. A Jesus-ish vocabulary is used throughout, and his relics venerated, but without a connection to the actual Jesus of the Gospels. Magic and murder are sanctioned as Christened acts.

However, the reason this was such a page-turner was the hilarious chivalry that is so prevalent in the Masculinity-revival of young, American males these days. When the Ho
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Sir James Knowles was an English architect and editor.

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“Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England. Then the people marvelled, and told it to the Archbishop. I command, said the Archbishop, that ye keep you within your church and pray unto God still, that no man touch the sword till the high mass be all done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when they saw the scripture some assayed, such as would have been king. But none might stir the sword nor move it. He is not here, said the Archbishop, that shall achieve the sword, but doubt not God will make him known.” 3 likes
“Now, said Sir Ector to Arthur, I understand ye must be king of this land. Wherefore I, said Arthur, and for what cause? Sir, said Ector, for God will have it so; for there should never man have drawn out this sword, but he that shall be rightwise king of this land” 3 likes
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