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The Story of the Champions of the Round Table   By: (1853-1911)

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In 1902 the distinguished American artist Howard Pyle undertook to retell and illustrate the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. His four volume work has long been considered one of the outstanding interpretations of the Arthur cycle.

The Story of the Champions of the Round Table , the second of Pyle's volumes, was originally published in 1905. Reissued now, identical in format to the original volume, with Pyle's superb illustrations and decorations, it is destined to reach new generations of readers. The Story of the Champions of the Round Table recounts the full and moving saga of three of Arthur's famous knights: Percival, Tristram, and Launcelot of the Lake.

"The period in which Howard Pyle did his work frequently has been spoken of as that Golden Age in children's literature that was to last for the decade to follow. It is difficult to do justice to his contribution to the shining quality of that era. The magnitude and diversity of his work eludes definition. Creative artist and born storyteller, each aspect of his twofold genius enriched and interpreted the other."

Elizabeth Nesbitt, in A Critical History of Children's Literature

[Illustration: Sir Launcelot of the Lake]


In a book which was written by me aforetime, and which was set forth in print, I therein told much of the history of King Arthur; of how he manifested his royalty in the achievement of that wonderful magic sword which he drew forth out of the anvil; of how he established his royalty; of how he found a splendid sword yclept Excalibur in a miraculously wonderful manner; of how he won the most beautiful lady in the world for his queen; and of how he established the famous Round Table of noble worthy knights, the like of whose prowess the world hath never seen, and will not be likely ever to behold again.

Also I told in that book the adventures of certain worthy knights and likewise how the magician Merlin was betrayed to his undoing by a sorceress hight Vivien.

Now, if you took any joy in reading that book, I have great hope that that which follows may be every whit as pleasing to you; for I shall hereinafter have to do with the adventures of certain other worthies with whom you may have already become acquainted through my book and otherwise; and likewise of the adventures of certain other worthies, of whom you have not yet been told by me.

More especially, I believe, you will find entertainment in what I shall have to tell you of the adventures of that great knight who was altogether the most noble of spirit, and the most beautiful, and the bravest of heart, of any knight who ever lived excepting only his own son, Galahad, who was the crowning glory of his house and of his name and of the reign of King Arthur.

However, if Sir Launcelot of the Lake failed now and then in his behavior, who is there in the world shall say, "I never fell into error"? And if he more than once offended, who is there shall have hardihood to say, "I never committed offence"?

Yea, that which maketh Launcelot so singularly dear to all the world, is that he was not different from other men, but like other men, both in his virtues and his shortcomings; only that he was more strong and more brave and more untiring than those of us who are his brethren, both in our endeavors and in our failures.


The Story of Launcelot

Chapter First

How Sir Launcelot Came Forth From the Enchanted Castle of the Lake and Entered Into the World Again, and How King Arthur Made Him Knight

Chapter Second

How Sir Launcelot and Sir Lionel Rode Forth Errant Together and How Sir Lionel Met Sir Turquine to His Great Dole. Also How Sir Ector Grieved for the Departure of His Brother Launcelot and So, Following Him, Fell into a Very Sorry Adventure

Chapter Third

How Sir Launcelot was Found in a Sleep by Queen Morgana le Fay and Three Other Queens who were with Her, and How He was Taken to a Castle of Queen Morgana's and of What Befell Him There

Chapter Fourth

How Sir Launcelot Sought Sir Lionel and How a Young Damsel Brought Him to the Greatest Battle that Ever He Had in All His Life

Chapter Fifth

How Sir Launcelot Went Upon an Adventure with the Damsel Croisette as Companion, and How He Overcame Sir Peris of the Forest Sauvage

Chapter Sixth

How Sir Launcelot Took Part in the Tournament Between King Bagdemagus and the King of North Wales, and How He Won that Battle for King Bagdemagus

Chapter Seventh

How Sir Launcelot Fell Into the Greatest Peril that Ever He Encountered in all His Life... Continue reading book >>

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