KING ARTHUR STORIES FROM MALORY - Done from the Text of Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur (Illustrated)

KING ARTHUR STORIES FROM MALORY - Done from the Text of Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur (Illustrated)

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There is supposed to have lived in England many, many centuries ago, after the coming of the Saxons, and before the coming of the Normans, a great and noble king, Arthur by name. Of all Christian kings he is said to have been the greatest and bravest; and the stories of his noble acts, his feats of arms, his strength, his loyalty to his knights, his humanity, his love, his exquisite gentleness, his fine courtesy, have come down to us through the ages in many forms and in many tongues.

King Arthur lived at the time when chivalry was at its height. This was the age when the highest calling of man was the call to arms; when men showed their loyalty to their king, their baron, and their lady, by feats of arms; when their noblest duty, their noblest sport was to fight. In those days, every boy hoped to become squire to some noble knight, and afterward, when his strength had been tested and his courage proved, to become himself a knight, to take the oath of knighthood, and then to enter the lists to fight his way to fame and honor.

This was the age also when religious fervor burned high, and there was a great, active movement to recover the Sangreal, or Holy Grail. Once, for a little while, the Sangreal was in England, but, through the wickedness of the people, it was lost. After that, the knights could not rest until it was recovered. So they sought it for long years and in many lands, and many a brave knight in his strong young manhood left England, never to be blest by a sight of the cup and never to return from his long quest. For only those ever had a glimpse of the Sangreal whose lives were pure and perfect.

About himself at Camelot, King Arthur had gathered a hundred and fifty of the best knights in the world. Not every knight was privileged to sit at Arthur's famous Round Table; for the table was magic, and the names of those who were to occupy the sieges appeared in golden letters over the places. One seat, that at Arthur's right, known as the Siege Perilous, could be occupied only by the purest and best knight in the world. To this seat was called Galahad — Galahad in all his slim young beauty, the light of a clean, holy spirit in his eye, the radiance of a great hope on his face, And to Galahad, Galahad the gentle, Galahad the courteous, Galahad the perfect, was given the wonderful joy of finding the Sangreal. For immediately after his introduction to the court of King Arthur, Galahad started on his quest. Inspired by him, almost all of the other knights avowed their purpose of seeking the Sangreal in distant lands; and so was disbanded one of the fairest and bravest fellowships that ever any king had.

The references to King Arthur in history are vague or lacking altogether, so that many persons have doubted that such a king ever lived. Caxton, who printed an edition of Malory's version of the King Arthur stories in 1485, said in his introduction:

Divers men hold opinion that there was no such Arthur, and that all such books as be made of him be but feigned and fables, because that some chronicles make of him no mention, nor remember him nothing, nor of his knights.... [But] there were many evidences of the contrary. First, ye may see his sepulchre in the monastery of Glastonbury. . . . And in divers places of England, many remembrances be yet of him, and shall remain perpetually, and also of his knights: — First, in the Abbey of Westminster, at Saint Edward's shrine, remaineth the print of his seal in red wax closed in beryl, in which is written: "Patricius Arthurus Britannie, Gallie, Germanie, Dacie Imperator." Item, in the castle of Dover, ye may see Gawaine's skull; at Winchester, the Round Table; in other places, Launcelot's sword, and many other things. Then all these things considered, there can no man reasonably gainsay but there was a king of this land named Arthur.

Modern scholars, on the whole, have been led to believe in a real Arthur, but an Arthur who was a successful general rather than the magnificent king pictured by Malory in his "Morte Darthur." Mr. Maynadier says of him:

Arthur was probably not of royal blood; he was only a brave leader, perhaps one of considerable military genius, though we may suppose of comparatively slight civilization, a half-barbarous chieftain, attached to the party of Britons who had viewed with joy the departure of the [Roman] legions.

However that may be, the King Arthur whose wonderful exploits are portrayed in this book is a real person to the one whose imagination will permit him to enter into the spirit of this marvelous story upon which is based so much of our choice literature.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014622370
Publisher: Leila's Books
Publication date: 07/15/2012
Series: The Riverside Literature Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 942 KB

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