Twenty-one stories from the Arthurian legends specially selected and adapted for children and told in simple well-written prose. The stirring tales of these chivalrous knights awaken the reader's admiration for courage and gentleness and high sense of honor essential in all ages.
This reading-book is designed primarily for pupils of the fifth and sixth grades, although it is believed that those of other grades can read it with profit. The stories have been collected from Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d' Arthur and Tennyson's Idyls of the King. The material taken from the former source has been chosen with the view of presenting strictly suitable reading, and has also at times been slightly altered for the purpose of giving greater unity and continuity to the stories. In the tales taken from the Idyls of the King it has been necessary to omit certain themes and motives, but the characters have been treated in such a way as to preserve, as far as possible, Tennyson's conception of them. It is scarcely necessary to state that the customs and manners described are not those of the sixth century, the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion, but those of the chivalric age, the period when the stories of Arthur were collected. So far as there has been an attempt to retain the quaintness of style found in the old sources, it has been by means of simple constructions rather than by the use of much archaic diction. The aim of the book is to give children an interest in the literature dealing with the great Celtic legend of King Arthur, and to arouse their admiration for the sturdy national virtues of which the English race has always been proud.