The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

  • by Howard Pyle
  • Narrated by David Thorn
  • 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Howard Pyle (who also wrote The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood) weaves the tales of chivalrous Knights, the magic sword of Excalibur, the Magician Merlin the Wise, and the legendary Arthur, later to become King of Britain. Pyle describes bouts of jousting, and knightly jealousies played out in grand style. Even in our present day, these stories last and challenge us to be our best, truthful, brave, and always wanting to right wrongs to those who cannot speak up for themselves.Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853 in Wilmington, Delaware. From the time he was a very small boy he loved pictures, especially the pictures in storybooks. Among his favorites were Grimm’s German Fairy Tales and Arabian Nights. At the age of twenty-one, Pyle began to contribute illustrations and fables to St. Nicholas magazine and later went on to write and illustrate books for children. His first was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood in 1883.
Many more books followed, including Pepper and Salt; or, Seasoning for Young Folk, Otto of the Silver Hand, Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, and The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. He also taught illustration at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia and later set up his own art school in Wilmington. He died on November 9, 1911, in Florence, Italy.-Amazon.com

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An Entertaining Account of Arthur’s Early Days

For a complete adult telling of the stories of King Arthur, listen to Malory or T. H. White, because Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights is only the first of his books about Arthur, recounting Arthur’s birth and youth and winning of Excalibur and Guinevere, and then Merlin’s fate and the stories of Sir Pellias and Sir Gawaine. Moreover, Pyle moralizes after the episodes, telling us, for example, that although we may not literally become knights with swords, we may wield truth (Excalibur) and faith (its scabbard).

As for David Thorn’s reading, his nearly tongue-in-cheek delivery was perfect for Jonathan Stroud’s Heroes of the Valley, but almost seems out of place here, for Pyle reveres Arthur, “the most honorable, gentle Knight who ever lived in all the world,” and his knights, while Thorn’s heroes often sound nasally arrogant. And a woman reads Pyle’s chapter titles and descriptions with an American accent and syrupy manner, jarring next to Thorn’s British English. And each chapter closes with repetitive pseudo medieval music fit for a cheap computer game.

Nonetheless, there is much to enjoy and admire in this audiobook. Pyle assumes a vivid and muscular “medieval” style, as when Arthur jousts a knight “out of his saddle like a windmill—whirling in the air and smiting the earth so that the ground shuddered beneath him.” Or as when Arthur delivers some justice: “At this, the face of that knight fell all pale, like to ashes, and he emitted a sound similar to the sound made by a hare when the hound lays hold upon it. Then King Arthur catched him very violently by the arm, and he catched the locket and brake it away from about the knight's neck, and upon that the knight shrieked very loud, and fell down upon his knees and besought mercy of the King, and there was great uproar in that place.”

And the Story of King Arthur has plenty of exciting and humorous moments and scenes of sublime wonder and beauty. And knights, wizards, faeries, dastards, damsels, hermits, quests, enchantments, disguises, combats, loves, hates, oaths, betrayals, humiliations, machinations, and glorifications. Despite Pyle’s exaltation of Arthur and company, they are often humanly proud, foolish, seducible, and violent. And Thorn reads all with energy and accuracy.
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- Jefferson "I love listening to or reading books--especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, classics, & historical."

An Entertaining Account of Arthur???s Early Days

For a complete adult telling of the stories of King Arthur, listen to Malory or T. H. White, because Pyle???s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights is only the first of his books about Arthur, recounting Arthur???s birth and youth and winning of Excalibur and Guinevere, and then Merlin???s fate and the stories of Sir Pellias and Sir Gawaine. Moreover, Pyle moralizes after the episodes, telling us, for example, that although we may not literally become knights with swords, we may wield truth (Excalibur) and faith (its scabbard).

As for David Thorn???s reading, his nearly tongue-in-cheek delivery was perfect for Jonathan Stroud???s Heroes of the Valley, but almost seems out of place here, for Pyle reveres Arthur, ???the most honorable, gentle Knight who ever lived in all the world,??? and his knights, while Thorn???s heroes often sound nasally arrogant. And a woman reads Pyle???s chapter titles and descriptions with an American accent and syrupy manner, jarring next to Thorn???s British English. And each chapter closes with repetitive pseudo medieval music fit for a cheap computer game.

Nonetheless, there is much to enjoy and admire in this audiobook. Pyle assumes a vivid and muscular ???medieval??? style, as when Arthur jousts a knight ???out of his saddle like a windmill???whirling in the air and smiting the earth so that the ground shuddered beneath him.??? Or as when Arthur delivers some justice: ???At this, the face of that knight fell all pale, like to ashes, and he emitted a sound similar to the sound made by a hare when the hound lays hold upon it. Then King Arthur catched him very violently by the arm, and he catched the locket and brake it away from about the knight's neck, and upon that the knight shrieked very loud, and fell down upon his knees and besought mercy of the King, and there was great uproar in that place.???

And the Story of King Arthur has plenty of exciting and humorous moments and scenes of sublime wonder and beauty. And knights, wizards, faeries, dastards, damsels, hermits, quests, enchantments, disguises, combats, loves, hates, oaths, betrayals, humiliations, machinations, and glorifications. Despite Pyle???s exaltation of Arthur and company, they are often humanly proud, foolish, seducible, and violent. And Thorn reads all with energy and accuracy.
Read full review

- Jefferson "I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-02-2007
  • Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks