Gr 9 Up- McCarty covers the story of Helen's removal to the city and the ensuing 10 years' war. After introducing the world of Homer, the author alternates the war story with that of Heinrich Schliemann's quest to excavate the real Troy in the 1870s, but the clumsy telling of the fictionalized siege clashes with the more moderate account of Schliemann's heavy-handed, amateur excavations. Readers will enjoy the background information on the gods, goddesses, warriors, and prophets, and the description of the modern area. Black-and-white and color photographs and reproductions depicting art and excavation sites complement the text. The book's value lies in its comparison of the humanlike characteristics of mythic figures with the hubris of Schliemann. Still, the uneven presentation makes this strictly an additional purchase. King Arthur connects the strands of legend in a fascinating history of the evolution of a Celtic demigod to a hero of Christianized medieval romances. Each chapter covers an element of the legend (the early Anglo-Saxon histories where Arthur is first mentioned; the tales of a second Arthur from Celtic legend; and the establishment of various characters), explaining both its historical and archetypal significance. Reproductions of paintings, textiles, and illuminations will appeal to readers. The only weak spot is the overview of modern adaptations, parts of which may become quickly outdated; several popular series are also left out. Still, this is a fine introduction, although some readers may find the heavy use of period names difficult.-Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM
King Arthur: Dark Age Warrior and Mythic Heroby John Matthews
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have captured the world's imagination since medieval times. The tales of King Arthur are rooted in history, but over the years the facts have become shrouded in myth and mystery. In this beautifully illustrated book Arthurian expert John Matthews explores the legends that have grown around the king and uncovers the mysteries of Arthur's Britain. The numerous characters surrounding King Arthur are introduced and the facts behind the epic saga are revealed.
*Contains 120 color and black-and-white images
*Covers Merlin, Guenevere, Lancelot, the Holy Grail, and all the mythic search for characters
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