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The Story of King Arthur and his Knights

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The Story of King Arthur & his Knights - illustrated

By Howard Pyle (Author)

a book that influenced jrr tolkien
Illustrated by Howard Pyle, first published 1903
Introduced by Cecilia Dart-Thornton

J.R.R. Tolkien greatly enjoyed Arthurian stories, which he called ‘powerful’. It was 1903 when this edition was first published. Young Tolkien was aged eleven. With what relish he must have seized upon this new version of the great legend, complete with captivating illustrations!

So profoundly did the legends of King Arthur inspire Tolkien that a few years before he wrote The Hobbit he began to compose a poem in alliterative verse, entitled The Fall of Arthur:

"Arthur eastward in arms purposed
his war to wage on the wild marches,
over seas sailing to Saxon lands…’

Wikipedia has this to say about Tolkien and ‘The Matter of Britain’: ‘The Arthurian legends are part of the cultural heritage that is comprised by the Celtic and Welsh mythologies. Though Tolkien denied the influence … several parallels have been found between the legends and have been well researched by numerous specialists.

' There are similarities between Gandalf and Merlin … comparisons of Frodo and Aragorn with Arthur, Galadriel with Lady of the Lake, and, very importantly, relevant visible correspondences such as Avalon and Avallónë and Broceliande and Broceliand, the original name of Beleriand.’

Interestingly, the illustrator of this edition, Howard Pyle belonged to the Brandywine School of artists and students. Readers of Tolkien’s works will recognise the name Brandywine or Baranduin River, a waterway in Middle-earth.

In his essay On Fairy Stories, Tolkien spoke about what he was looking for, as a child, when he read a book.

‘I had very little desire to look for buried treasure or fight pirates, and Treasure Island left me cool. Red Indians were better: there were bows and arrows … and strange languages, and glimpses of an archaic mode of life, and, above all, forests in such stories. But the land of Merlin and Arthur was better than these. . .’

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Product Details
  • Publication Date: Jun 01 2013

    ISBN/EAN13: 0987555472 / 9780987555472

    Page Count: 418

    Binding Type: US Trade Paper

    Trim Size: 6" x 9"

    Language: English

    Color: Black and White

    Related Categories: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
     
More About the Creators

> Howard Pyle on Wikipedia

Dart-Thornton

Howard Pyle (1853-1911)

Howard Pyle (March 5, 1853 – November 9, 1911) was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, he spent the last year of his life in Florence, Italy.

In 1894 he began teaching illustration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University). After 1900, he founded his own school of art and illustration, named the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. The scholar Henry C. Pitz later used the term Brandywine School for the illustration artists and Wyeth family artists of the Brandywine region, several of whom had studied with Pyle.[1] Some of his more notable students were N. C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Elenore Abbott, Ethel Franklin Betts, Anna Whelan Betts, Harvey Dunn, Clyde O. DeLand, Philip R. Goodwin, Violet Oakley, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle, Olive Rush, Allen Tupper True, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and Jessie Willcox Smith.

His 1883 classic publication The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print, and his other books, frequently with medieval European settings, include a four-volume set on King Arthur. He is also well known for his illustrations of pirates, and is credited with creating what has become the modern stereotype of pirate dress. He published his first novel, Otto of the Silver Hand, in 1888. He also illustrated historical and adventure stories for periodicals such as Harper's Weekly and St. Nicholas Magazine. His novel Men of Iron was adapted as the movie The Black Shield of Falworth (1954).

Pyle travelled to Florence, Italy in 1910 to study mural painting. He died there in 1911 of a sudden kidney infection (Bright's Disease)

   


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