“That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray.” And you thought it was only the month for finals and commencement! Ever since playing both a lady-in-waiting to Queen Guinevere, and a page to a knight of the Round Table in a high school production of Camelot, I can’t think about this month without humming this song. And without thinking that I need to read more about King Arthur.
So where to start? How about with King Arthur: A Casebook? The essays give a good overview of the Arthurian legend, including its place in the 20th century imagination. Excalibur, anyone? Or a seventeenth century re-writing of the stories, King Arthur: An Heroick Poem in Twelve Books, written by Richard Blackmore, which are a thinly disguised version of the exploits of William of Orange?
No matter where you start, be sure you include the classics, like the beautifully illustrated The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. Written and illustrated by Howard Pyle, the drawings bring the story to life. An added bonus—this copy is at the George Peabody Library, a perfect setting for reading legends.