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The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  649 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A study of Arthurian romance and legend which draws together the different strands of Arthurian myth, from sources as diverse as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Malory, Chretien de Troyes, the Mabinogion, and the English Gawain cycles.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published 1995 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1991)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  649 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian, reference
Often plundered and even plagiarised – frequently online and most notably in print by Mike Dixon-Kennedy in his Arthurian Myth and Legend: an A-Z of People and Places (1996) – this was the first really accessible dictionary of Arthurian personages, locales and other miscellanea. While not an academic publication the Encyclopaedia at least references most of its entries (unlike its main rival, mentioned above) while still striving to be user-friendly. This original edition includes full-page line ...more
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Arthurian fans
Shelves: arthurian, own, photobook
Thi is a great reference guide to have kicking around if you like Arthurian legends. Just having it from the library isn't good enough. I hope to own it one day because it is truly an encyclopaedia so it isn't something you can just read from start to finish though I tried. I found that I learned a lot and was often looking up things mentioned on Wikipedia as well to learn more if the references to a person/event were too brief.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great reference tool for all things Arthurian. Some portions felt a bit confusing, but that was to be expected, given the myriad of different tales and spin-offs surrounding the mythical figure. The stories, for example Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur, feature a wide cast of characters, so it's quite handy to have an encyclopedia like this to check who's who.
Goes to show how difficult it is to say who was/is King Arthur.
Also, gorgeously illustrated!
Aenea Jones
While it gives you a good overview of the contents of the Arthurian Legend, and includes pretty much all the persons and many places, I feel like it could have been more detailed.
But if you want to look up quickly who's who, it's a good choice.
Lucy Barnhouse
This is a gorgeous book, offering an alphabetically-organized journey through the matter of Arthur from the fifth century to the nineteenth. As an adolescent besotted with the legends, I adored this volume. It is both more scholarly and more beautifully produced than some similar works, and it still holds a place on my shelves.
Michelle Snyder
Aug 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Formatted for people who love all things Arthurian, nice pictures, some good information. A reference for the pop culture of symbolism. If you want to know where the Lady of the Lake really came from, see my blog at Read "The Lady of the Iron Sword". But all in all a nice book.
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Great resource for keeping track of all the characters. And explanations of how the same story can differ so much. On a personal note: reading a quote from a historian that a leader of my church is "Merlin reincarnated" was truly priceless and, I thought, the best part of the book;)
Nick Pearson
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Quite boring of a read--though I guess it is an encyclopedia! Informative IF you have context. I feel you'd get more out of this if you were very familiar with the source materials. If you haven't read the sources, you may find yourself a bit confused.
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge fan of medieval literature or the Arthurian legend (I enjoy military and US history more than anything). This still an interesting book to read through and learn about the numerous tales and characters.
Paul Jessup
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first birthday present my wife ever gave me (we were only dating a few months in at the time) and is one of my favorite books of all time. Best reference book ever.
Soy Boy James
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Gorgeous illustration, but the content would probably only interest an arthur fanatic or a scholar of medieval literature.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian, reference, 2006
A great reference source!
dreamer of art
A good and solid Encyclopaedic reference with a varied asortment of paintings and illustrations. One of my favourite Arthurian books.
Aug 26, 2008 rated it liked it
It includes some good discussion of the more obscure knights and their adventures; but it was lacking in references and other sources. The audience clearly is not academic or college-level.
Beryl Cost
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
perhaps not the most scholerly of books but i do love it. perhaps because it was a gift from my father when I was a girl.
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
I can't tell you how many times I have used this book as a reference. I only wish there were more information on some on the entries. Gret resource.
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“How are we to account for the vast interest to be found in Arthurian literature today, an interest embracing both the academic and the common person?
The answer may lie in the possibility that there is more of interest to the human being than his own circumscribed range of personal experience and the limited collective experience of the society in which he finds himself. Man has a sense of wonder and he seeks to look beyond the confines of the everyday. Marvel-filled literature enables him to do this and provides him with the stimulus which his imagination craves.”
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