A bit of a change on Ladybird Tuesday this week as rather than focus on a single book, I'm actually featuring a couple of books from series 740 (Classics) which are both from the Tales of King Arthur sub-series.
I recently came across The Deeds of the Nameless Knight and The Knight of the Golden Falcon and other stories in a charity shop and to be honest I'd not seen these books at all before and wasn't really sure how they fit in with the Ladybird series. Written by Desmond Dunkerley, who was also responsible for other books in series 740 about Robin Hood, the King Arthur books were published in 1977 and were apparently some of the most popular books in the series.
"The legend of King Arthur has come down to us out of the dim mists of history. All we know for certain is that when the Romans left Britain a warrior chief led a band of brave followers against the Saxon invaders. Around his heroic deeds grew the legend of Arthur and Excalibur, of Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.
Like all good legends it has grown with the telling and who is to say that so brave a company would not also have found time to undertake adventurous deeds on behalf of the weak, the poor and the oppressed?
These are some of the stories from the legend. They may not have happened at all – but we can hope they did.
A certain amount of artist's licence has been found necessary in preparing the illustrations, in view of the lack of precise information about the period."
To me this introduction is exactly what I would expect from Ladybird, a brand that is so well known for all its factual books that children learnt from. They want to make it very clear to their young readers that the stories are not necessarily fact, but if they're not they are almost certainly based on some fact. The final note about the illustrations almost seems a bit unnecessary, but again is very much in keeping with the Ladybird style.
As for the stories themselves, they were written very much for boys with a keen interest in King Arthur and his knights and I can see that they would probably have been very popular with children like this and probably inspired many role play games too.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thank you!