Arthur of Albion Hardcover – Illustrated, 8 Sep 2008
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'Arthur of Albion is a great book. A book you'd love to just look at, a book you'd love to read to your children, or let them read themselves. For one, the stories themselves are an array of Arthurian myths and legends. Each of them is a fairytale in a nutshell long enough to be a real story, short enough to keep even the youngest interested. But then, that is the hallmark of John Matthews Arthurian publications.' --Vortigern Studies<br /><br />'The major stories are interspersed with entries about particular episodes or characters. The text is formal but clear. The illustrations are intense in colour and detail, like Russian boxes, but also meltingly imaginative, offering strange vistas. The whole is well bound, clearly gift-like. As an extra treat, there is a beautiful fold out map' --Carousel
'The major stories are interspersed with entries about particular episodes or characters. The text is formal but clear. The illustrations are intense in colour and detail, like Russian boxes, but also meltingly imaginative, offering strange vistas. The whole is well bound, clearly gift-like. As an extra treat, there is a beautiful fold out map' --Carousel
About the Author
John Matthews is an historian and author. He has produced over eighty books on the Arthurian Legends, Pirates and Grail Studies, as well as short stories and a volume of poetry. He has devoted much of the past thirty years to the study of Arthurian Traditions and myth in general. He was historical adviser to Jerry Bruckheimer for his film King Arthur. His book Pirates was number one in the New York Times bestseller list for most of the summer of 2006. He is married to the writer Caitlín Matthews with whom he has collaborated on numerous books. Their son, Emrys, published his own first book in 2004. The Matthews live in Oxford, England. Pavel Tatarnikov spent a year in England while working on his breathtaking illustrations for Arthur of Albion. Born in 1971 into a family of artists, he has loved drawing since childhood, and his talent was recognized early on: at the age of eleven, he was selected to train at the State School of Music and Fine Arts in Minsk, Belarus. He graduated in 1989 and joined the Graphic Department of the Belarusian Academy of Arts, working as an illustrator. The recipient of many awards, Pavel particularly enjoys projects that combine his love of myths and legends, literature and history. He currently lives in Belarus with his wife, Irina.
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the writing is where the book is let down. The book consists of short passages of information about each of the characters and quests of the Arthurian world. There are no stories to follow, no poems or songs. The text lacks emotion of any kind and is altogether dry.
Children will love that a map of Albion is included. I didn't like the numerical index on the map, but it may be more appropriate for some children.
There are many varied versions of the Arthurian legend. Matthews has chosen to base his writings solely on the olde English tradition. I did find the author's writing style uneccessarily wordy at times. I also found my self mildly irritated by a couple of linguistic oddities, such as renaming Sir Hector as Sir Ector.
The best place for this book is probably in the library of a primary school. There any child with a few minutes time to fill can open it at any page and read a little of the Arthurian World. The lack of story means it isn't very good as a bedtime book. Most older readers will wish for meatier passages. It might work as coffee table book, but do be wary of children picking it up to use it as a weapon.
One must remember that this is merely an overview book, and not designed to be a detailed re-telling of the stories. There are parts of the book that are more of an encyclopaedia - for example, the section on magical creatures, or the pages on the Ladies of the Lake. One of two of the standard stories (such as the pulling of the sword from the stone) are re-told in more detail. But if you are looking for a detailed book on Arthurian legends, you should look elsewhere. What marks out this book are the high production values, and the gorgeous illustrations.
I was going to give this copy to my nephew once I'd finished with it (as it is about time he got interested in Arthurian legends); but I'm thinking I might keep it for myself, at least until I am sure my nephew will really appreciate and cherish it!
While predominantly a picture book, the text is much more than a few lines and is divided into section or chapters that help tell the story of Arthur is easily digestible chunks. Let;s face it, even older readers need to take things easy these days. For kids it means the book is easily navigated time and again.
But the big attraction for any age is the artwork and for this alone the is book is highly recommended
A great introduction to the legand of Artur!
This books gives a more traditional picture of the Arthurian legends, but none the less fascinating. The illustrations are gorgeous and stylish, and very well fitted to the subject matter.
Different aspects of Arthurian legends, and surrounding tales such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are told in relative short (4-5 page) chunks, just the right size for a pre-teen to take on in one go. Also, just the right length for a bedtime tale if reading to a younger one.
Quality of the book is excellent - it is largish but not too big to handle comfortably. Beautiful full colour throughout and definitely worth the Amazon price.
The contents take two forms - there are brief descriptions of different aspects of Arthurian mythology, and in between short stories of one of the myths taking about 4 pages. I've read a few of these to my children (aged 5 and 8) who enjoyed them, but the language was a bit complicated for my 5 year old in one or two places, and it is probably best suited for the 7-11 age group. Having said that, even for an adult it's a nice book to look at and browse.
There aren't as many of the Arthurian stories included as I would have liked, missing out some personal favourites.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just wanted to take a few moments to acknowledge the achievement of Barefoot Books in putting this together. Read morePublished on 7 Nov. 2013 by B.O. Wulf
This is a quality, beautifully presented very large hardback book with some wonderful illustrations and a map. It's a lovely book. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2012 by debbie8355
This is a beautiful volume which immediately appealed to me. The binding is lovely and the illustrations stunning. Read morePublished on 17 July 2010 by Beansmummy
These really are some of the most wonderful illustrations I've ever seen in a book ostensibly targeted at a young readership. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2010 by bomble
this is a quite gorgeous book, with fabulous illustrations alongside the text. The stories themselves aren't over-complex and will appeal to the younger reader - certainly my... Read morePublished on 28 May 2010 by D. Graham
As a hardback, this is physically an attractive book - it feels light yet durable, and the illustrations are a delight. Read morePublished on 20 May 2010 by Michelle Moore