Told and illustrated
Personally, I love all of Howard Pyle’s retellings of classic tales. This one I especially love — Pyle’s sense for who Arthur is and his love of all the stories that go forth from that wondrous Round Table shines through every word and chapter. His line drawing illustrations add a feel for the period along with some often subtle indications of the quality of character of the one who is his subject.
In this volume, Pyle begins by showing how Arthur established his right to the throne by drawing the sword from the anvil and how he battled to secure his sword, Excalibur, “the most beautiful and the most famous sword in all the world.” Then follow Arthur’s confrontations with the Duke of North Umber and Sir Pellias, his wooing and wedding of the Lady Guinevere, and the creation of the Round Table. Arthur’s knights have their share of tales, too, and we meet Merlin the Wise, Sir Gawaine, Sir Pellias and more.
These are the classic tales of the Arthurian legend, told and illustrated by a master. Whether read to younger children (9+) or given to an older student (12+) to read on his or her own, these are great stories told greatly.