June 2, 2010

The Squire's Tales

Every homeschooling family goes through the Arthurian stage filled with knights in shining armor and fair maidens.  Chivalry and honor, recreant knights and enchantresses, The Seelie and Unseelie Courts, Avalon and Camelot.  There have been many interpretations written through out history based on stories that have been handed down from ancient times by minstrels, troubadours and jongleurs.  Who was Arthur?  It's still a mystery.
One modern interpretation of the old Arthurian legends has been written by a fellow named Gerald Morris who is a minister from Wisconsin.  Mr. Morris has taken famous stories and poems from those written by Sir Thomas Mallory, Gottfried von Strassburg and Chretien de Troyes and retold them in his own, kid friendly style.  The tales are told from the perspective of secondary characters, young ladies as well as young men, that he added to the stories making them come alive with not only noble and courageous knights and their ladies but with squire's, minstrels and blacksmith's as well as young ladies in waiting and orphaned girls.  All of whom turned out to be more than they seemed.
The last installment in this series is due out this fall.  These are great read alouds to younger children and read alone stories for older ones.  They've created wonderful memories that we have of our homeschooling years.  I'm ever so thankful to Gerald Morris for sharing his love of the renaissance era and Arthur's mighty knights of the Round Table.  I'd highly recommend these adventure books for boys and girls alike.
Not all the knights of the Fellowship of the Round Table were knighted by Arthur, at least in the beginning.  Many who came to the court seeking membership had been knighted by one of the lesser kings of England before Arthur took the throne uniting all (or most) of England under one rule, bringing peace and prosperity to the land.  But as more young men began to seek admission to this chivalrous group, Arthur knighted them himself, but only after they had shown their true desire by doing worthy deeds.  He charged them to,"Be ever true to your God; protect always your neighbor; honor always your king."  Not a bad code to live by.

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