An excellent survey and a beautifully produced book which nicely balances the (few) historical and poetic references to Arthur, with the development and growth of the later legend of Arthur - which never mind any mundane history is what grips us still powerfully.
If you want a gorgeous coffee table book with punch, then this is it - but is is much better than that, because written by one of the foremost historians of the early mediaeval period, it is itself a source book for all things Arthur.
If you want to start your own Arthurian quest - for the legend, the ideas of him as some kind of king or cavalry commander, a entirely mythical protector figure, or on his influence on Kennedy's US presidency - then this is your book!
What Malcolm Godwin did for the Holy Grail, Christopher Snyder has now done for King Arthur. I own a large collection of Arthurian books myself, but I have never encountered a better handbook for anyone to learn about all facets of the Arthurian Saga. Well-written, beautifully illustrated, adressing all angles of this many-facetted field, it is a joy to read. The author starts with the historical background and archaeology, before turning to the sources and the later legends. A real asset to this study is the attention he gives to the impact of Arthur on society; such as how the medieval monarchy dealt with Arthur as a role model, to the view of the Kennedy's as representing modern 'Camelot'. Modern, too, is the attention given to the large interest Arthur has recieved from many instititions and individuals on the internet. To anyone who starts researching King Arthur, be it the legendary, the historical or literature, I can recommend this book as the best start they can make. And to anyone that knows Arthur already well, I can recommend it as well!
Full of facts and cleverly written. Snyder did an excellent job in discovering the history underlying the legend of King Arthur. It's a history book that was designed well enough to be a coffee table book. What stands out for me is the original illustrations by Valentino. Since most of the other paintings can be found in other Arthurian books, these full coloured drawings are certainly refreshing and delightful.
This is a great introduction to King Arthur. I am really interested in mythological warriors and this book told me pretty much all I needed to know about King Arthur. It is well illustrated and the author achieves a good balance between history and literature. As well as this book, I would recommend Legendary Warriors by Daniel Mersey and The Discovery of King Arthur by Geoffrey Ashe, both of which compliment Christopher Snyder's book. Buy this if you want to find out more about the once and future king of Britain.