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Steinbeck credited Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthurwith his love of books. He hated reading as a kid until finding the old tales of Arthur and the Round Table, which put the hook in him at age nine. Toward the end of his life, Steinbeck began his own collection of Arthurian legends. It wasn't published until 1976-well after his 1968 death-and was the last book on which he worked. This illustrated edition carries a new foreword by top fantasy writer Christopher Paolini and a lengthy appendix.