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Arthurian legends for the [hopelessly] sensitive?

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We're hitting Arthur in our history, and I'd like to do some Arthur legends/stories, but am daunted by Button's sensitivity. He's quite sensitive to unkindness and violence -- we're okay with history so far (Our Island Story & so on) but not violent stories. Any favorites? -- we're trying Sir Gawain by Michael Morpurgo soon, and I'll see how that goes; but am stumped otherwise. The violence problem is esp. related to malevolent intent -- he's okay if heads get hacked off in a general way (we read about a fight with a dragon that was alright with him) but if someone is being mean -- even if it's not awfully violent -- that is a real problem.


thx in advance!

Edited by serendipitous journey
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I just read Parzival: The Quest of the Grail Knight by Katherine Paterson with my often sensitive 7 year old. It was our first introduction into the Arthurian world. It went over very well. There is no graphic violence. There is some emotional angst after Parzival fails to ask the question of the suffering King that gets a little intense, but Paterson's writing seemed so, I don't know, formal that my son wasn't too disturbed. It does have a very strong religious undertone on themes on compassion, repentance, and mercy. Because Parzival is one of the oldest grail legends, I liked starting there with our step into Arthurian legends.


I'm planning to read Ian Serraillier's Sir Gawain and the Green Giant with my son soon. We really, really enjoyed Serraillier's Beowulf. It was clear enought to follow, but he kept the poetry of the work alive.

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Maria, thank you for that recommendation: I'm glad of a version with a strong moral core. & for a Beowulf, too!


I hadn't known about Parzival being so old -- may I ask, do you just know these things b/c of your own education, or are you learning as you go along, or some other source? I am trying to spruce up my own abilities to teach & understanding of our materials.


also: {happiness} at the Chesterton in your siggie. I think I need more Chesterton in my life!

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I actually am somewhat ignorant when it comes to Arthurian legends! They never held much magic for me, outside of The Lady of Shallot, though I kept trying since I usually love everything English. (Like my beloved Chesterton!) I found Grail legends particularly tedious. I just came across Parvizal when reading a book about the Grimm fairly tales called The Owl, the Raven, and the Dove. The author was examine all the influences of thenGrimm brothers, and Parvizal came up many times since it was such a strong cultural and literary influence. I was a little horrified that I was so ignorant of it as I read how influential it was!


(The book also really piqued my interest in Germanic and Norse mythology, which always have held much more magic for me but which I am fairly ignorant of outside of Wagner and echoes of them in Tolkien. Sad. Reading Beowulf kind of sparked a flame for more northerness!)


This is usually how things work out for us. I read some book that is semi-related to something I'm thinking about for our homeschool and then one book leads to another... serendipity, I guess.:001_smile:

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