Tag Archives: manybooks

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights

I finally finished The Legends of King Arthur & His Knights by Sir James Knowles (free at ManyBooks). Now from what I’ve read it seems that Sir Thomas Malory’s Arthur legends are some of the earliest, being written in the 15th century, or otherwise simply the most famous, but I like Sir Knowles’ (mid to late 19th century) because it’s much easier to read and seems to flow better. Anyway, no matter who wrote it it’s still really incredibly violent and sexist! Although I’m not here to judge; I am completely willing to acknowledge that it was a different era and it was perfectly normal to have two knights fight to “prove” whether your wife was innocent, and to burn her to death if her knight loses… I especially liked how often the description of cleaving someone straight down the head to his torso came up during battle.

As always, I still loved the story of Tristan and Isolde best (spelled Tristram and Isoulde in this version). So sad!

Oh, and I know it’s immature but I couldn’t help but imagine the events unfolding as they did in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sorry. Just can’t resist the Black Knight… I’ll bite your legs off!

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The Prince and the Pauper

So I have to admit that the only reason I know the story of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (free at ManyBooks) is because of Wishbone… but I think it’s just one of those beloved stories that everyone knows. Also it was kind of weird to find out Mark Twain wrote it… it’s so Dickens-esque! It’s all very Oliver Twist but also snarky like you’d expect from Twain.

I really liked how it was historical fiction, using Henry VIII and Edward as the aristocracy, but obviously this didn’t happen. Anyway, I liked it overall. It’s a very short read but well worth it for the social commentary and such.