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Arthur of Albion Hardcover – Illustrated, 8 Sep 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books Ltd (8 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846860482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846860485
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 1.6 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a physical object, this book has to be commended. It has a delightful feel to it and considerable effort has gone into the artwork. The artwork in itself is not entertaining but succeeds in providing an atmospheric backdrop to the text.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
John Matthews is a well-known Arthurian scholar, with many publications on the legendary king to his name. Pavel Tatarnikov is an artist from Belarus. Together they have created a beautiful introduction to the myths of King Arthur, aimed at children but suitable for anyone.

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!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a very lovely book. The artwork and reproduction are excellent, full of captivating detail yet still conveying a sense of magic and the fantastical.

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
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a lovely book. I am a bit of an 'Arthur' fan, and have lots of literature and books giving different viewpoints of the legend. This is a great addition to that library, and one my 3 1/2 year old son also enjoys. It has descriptions of all the characters, the settings and the time, explanations of Knights, Quests, and best of all, it has a map! Showing all the locations and settings of the major castles, forests, lakes that form part of the Arturian legend. This is all complimented by some lovely, bitesize stories of key points of the Arturian legend (sword in stone, Excalibur, Gawain and the Green knight) perfect to read to children. (The Lancelot and Guinevere saga has been omitted though!)

A great introduction to the legand of Artur!
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By leftfooter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book for my 11 year old daughter, who has been fascinated by the recent Merlin series on TV.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a beautiful book - lovely, rather classical illustrations, nicely bound and with an attractive map included.
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.
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