Dover Coloring Book

Text Box with description of Book

I am a huge fan of King Arthur, so this was a delightful coloring book for me. As usual, I had a hard time choosing what to post, since I was so pleased with my work and the pictures. I decided on eight; however, two are double-page scenes. There were four of those in all. Each page tells a bit about the legend, and there have been many versions of that legend told and re-told over the centuries, so each is a little different. But what remains the same is that Sir Lancelot falls in love with Queen Guinevere, and Mordred, the King's evil illegitimate son goes public with this knowledge. Arthur is forced to burn his Queen at the stake, but Sir Lancelot rescues her. In his frenzy, he kills two friends, Sir Gareth, and Sir Gaheris, half-brothers of Mordred, and nephews of King Arthur. The king must side with Sir Gawain, another brother, in attempting to kill Lancelot. As they have a stake-out at his castle, Mordred declares himself King of England, and an all-out ward ensues, where the King and his son kill each other. The Ladies of the Lake remove Arthur's body to the mystical island of Avalon, where he will awaken when he is needed again.

I'd say it's time to wake up now, 'cause the whole world needs his wisdom, compassion and integrity. Arthur, by the way, was a real person, but his name was different and so was the century in which he lived. Authors who wish to stick with the most reliable legend use Sir Thomas Malory's voluminous work, Le Morte d'Arthur, as a reference. For more on King Arthur and Friends, please visit their Index Page.

I always find it interesting that most legends, folk tales, fairy tales, and even the Bible contain similar elements, which indicates to me that there is a root based on truth that goes back probably farther than recorded history. Hans Christian Andersen' huge collection of tales includes many historical stories of Denmark. One is of Holger Danske, a courageous Viking warrior, who sleeps in the dungeon of Kronenburg Castle, also called Kronborg, awaiting his summons to defend Denmark.

Page 2: The Sword in the Stone—The great wizard Merlin enchanted a sword in stone so that only a true descendant of Uther could pull it out. Many noble knights tried to pull the sword out of the stone but failed. Only young Arthur was able to free the sword.
Page 3: Merlin—Both Uther and Arthur took on Merlin as their advisor. No harm could be done to either one of them as long as Merlin and his magic were at their side.

Merlin

The Sword in the Stone

Pages 16-17: Lancelot vs. a Dragon—In one of his most famous adventures, Sir Lancelot fought a fire-breathing dragon that had been terrorizing the castle of the Fisher King. He defeated the dragon and saved Elaine, the daughter of the Fisher King.

Lancelot vs. a Dragon

Page 22: Procession with the Holy Grail—Galahad found the Holy Grail in the castle of the Fisher King. There a procession of beautiful maidens greeted Galahad with the Grail and a spear that bled drops of blood.
Page 25: The Lady of the Lake Warns Arthur—While Arthur laid siege to Lancelot's castle with Gawain, Arthur's son Mordred took Camelot by force and declared himself king. The Lady of the Lake then warned Arthur not to fight Mordred at Camlann.

The Lady of the Lake Warns Arthur

Procession with the Holy Grail

Page 26-27: The Battle of Camlann—Not heeding the Lady of the Lake's warning, Arthur faced Mordred in a final battle for control of all England.

The Battle of Camlann

Page 29: Excalibur Thrown Back to the Lake—Before he died, Arthur ordered Sir Bedivere to throw Excalibur back into the Lake. He had promised the Lady of the Lake that the sword would be returned to her after his death.
Page 30: Arthur on the Boat to Avalon—After his death, Arthur was taken to the mystical island of Avalon by the three Ladies of the Lake. There he sleeps until England has need of him once again.

Arthur on the Boat to Avalon

Excalibur Thrown Back to the Lake

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