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The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights
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The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  3,239 ratings  ·  82 reviews
King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur ...more
Kindle Edition
Published June 28th 2004 by Public Domain Books (first published 1860)
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Jan 12, 2015 Sarah rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Shelves: fantasy, kindle, 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
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
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.
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.
Ben Hilburn
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
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
Barb Middleton
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
Jonathan Scotese
Interesting. This is the first non-modern King Arthur story I have read. It is a bit boring and repetitive, and the female characters barely exist beyond the barest sketch, and seem to be defined by either their virtue of their petty evil. The male characters are likewise two dimensional, either noble Knights, honorable foes who become noble once defeated, or violent monsters, but a lot more time is focused on them.

The most interesting thing is the story about how Arthur conquered the Roman Empi
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Adrian Brooks
For me, this was sadly unreadable. It was like a police account of events, or a science report. Person A met person B. They had a fight, it was long but person A won. There was a total lack of any of the mysticism or magic that I hoped for. I couldn't even finish it, which for a book so short, is unusual for me. I hope to find a much more magical account of this legend.
I really enjoy Arthurian stories, but this wasn't my favorite thing I have read. It took me much longer to get into than the "Once and Future King". It feels watered down. Many details are skipped or glossed over making the stories disconnected and less purposeful. I did like that it included more information from before Aurthur's birth and after Lancelot steals Guinevere.
kay kuever
I'm normally a huge fan of anything King Arthur, Camelot or just plain medieval, but when it came down to this story I was more interested in just finishing towards the end. There is a lot of repetition, especially when the story involved a traveling knight coming across other knights. While interesting in the beginning, their fights and jousts start to become cookie cutter. I'm not sure if the Old English made the language of the book sound less appealing to me or if I was just bored with the s ...more
In order to be a knight, one must look gorgeous, know how to fight, and love the lady and the lord or king. Please fight to the death and then ask the name of your opponent. When especially sorrowful, or happy, take the head of the slain person to court. When in great surprise or fear, swoon.

In order to be a lady, one must look gorgeous. If being compared to another lady, and she looks better, your head could come off right there, and by your husband. When in great surprise or fear, swoon.

I reco
Kim Landwehr
The story isa familiar tale of Western Literature. The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Many of the characters are familiar, Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Lady Guinevere however there are many that I did not recognize. It is full of adventure, including wizards, enchantresses, giants, and even dragons, knights and damsels in distress. The way the women are portrayed in the story is my least favorite part of the story, they are either portrayed as weak and helpless or ungratef ...more
Theresa Polmounter
Great adventure

For all of those who really want to leave the troubles of the world we live in.Read on and let yourself believe in fairness and good once again.
Beth Lewis
Another classic. It tells they story the way I've always heard it: Camelot, etc. Very straightforward but fun. I'm always a sucker for Arthur and his knights.
Ronna H. Kelly
King Arthur

I choose 5 stars because it's a good entertaining read for people of most ages
It's also interesting thing to know about and makes you want King Arthur to come back and have another story
Tom Connolly
I love classic stories of good versus evil, of heroic deeds, and there is a reason this is a classic. As a reader, I often grinned at the sense that those people who know this story only from Hollywood are missing out on some great stories. It is a shame that movies take the focus off the faith of the characters, the complexity of their emotions and interactions. Written as more a collection of stories, I would highly recommend this book as something to be read to little ones, maybe K4-2nd grade ...more
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
When I got this book I thought it looked like a good read. I wasn't terribly impressed with it as I found it a bit on the dull side. I thought it would draw me in and make me keep turning the pages....but it failed to do that. I wouldn't really recommend it to anybody, but this is just my opinion.
I liked this book at the start. Reminded me of Errol Flynn's version of Robin Hood in the way it depicted "high adventure" and in the way they talked.

After a while, however, it got to be incredibly repetitive as one knight after another goes out on a quest, kills someone (often someone he used to know who has gone bad), rescues the girl, then comes back to Arthur's England as a hero. If you've read the first third of the book, you've read the rest of it.

The most interesting part to me was when A
Couldn't finish. It began okay, but got way too redundant. The first knight was praised to the high heavens: he was the best looking, the best horse rider, the strongest, the bravest, etc. His battles were like old westerns; he could slay 10 of the enemy before they could unsheath their swords. So when the next knight came along, how could he be made any better? Yet, he had to be. So in his battles, he could slay 20 of the enemy before they could unsheath their swords! And the next, 100! So fort ...more
Debbie Webster
There was a lot more killing than I thought there would be.
It was still a good book, more a love story than I thought also.
Lorraine Sears
For anyone who has ever, in any small way, enjoyed the tales of King Arthur and his knights, this book is a must have. Whether you were introduced to King Arthur by book or screen, you'll find all your favorite Knights and legends of their bravery in this book.

The writing style is 'olde worlde' but not so much as to make it unreadable. Each chapter takes on a different legend and is full of action, battles, jousts, adventures, fair damsels and goodly knights.

Utterly engaging and wonderful to see
Edward Hetzler
A different telling of the Arthurian legend.

The writing is stilted and archaic. The book is a series of loosely related tales rather than a coherent story. Some of the tales are familiar, but many are not.

This version of the Arthurian legend deals more with the knights of the Round Table than King Arthur. It is interesting and less fairy tale like then the more well known Arthur legend.
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Sir James Knowles was an English architect and editor.

More about James Knowles...
King Arthur and His Knights (Children's Classics) Miti e leggende di re Artù, dei cavalieri della Tavola Rotonda e del Santo Graal Folk Tales Of Kashmir The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights: With 21 Illustrations and a Free Audio File. The Nineteenth Century Volume 1

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“Arise, Lord King, for the enemy is come; even Ambrosius and Uther, upon whose throne thou sittest—and full twenty thousand with them—and they have sworn by a great oath, Lord, to slay thee, ere this year be done; and even now they march towards thee as the north wind of winter for bitterness and haste.” 0 likes
“ing Vortigern the usurper sat upon his throne in London, when, suddenly, upon a certain day, ran in a breathless messenger, and cried aloud— “Arise, Lord King, for the enemy” 0 likes
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