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Page, Esquire, and Knight Review by Tammy Walker

Marion Florence Lansing
Yesterday's Classics
PO Box 3418
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

According to the author's preface, "Page, Esquire, and Knight presents the best stories of all periods of chivalry, from the days of the founding of the Round Table to the death of Chevalier Bayard. It sets forth in simple story form the development and progress of knighthood from the time of St. George . . . to the founding, a thousand years later, of the order which bore his name and embodied in its ritual the highest ceremonial of chivalry."

With a simple introduction to the process of becoming a knight, this 139-page compilation offers tellings of some of chivalry's best stories. Chapters are titled:

* The Drawing of the Sword
* The Founding of the Round Table
* Perceval
* Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
* The Passing of Arthur
* Roland, a Knight of France
* A Steed! A Steed! (a poem)
* The Battle of Ronceval
* Godfrey, a Knight of the Crusades
* The Troubadour (a poem)
* The Order of St. George
* Chevalier Bayard

The bulk of the stories revolve around Arthurian legends (some of the more famous knight tales) with the latter four or five coming from other sources. The stories are told simply and in a straightforward fashion. Children age 10 and older will find these stories easy to read.

This text would be a fine introduction to the popular Arthurian tales. It includes the story of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, and it also tells how Sir Gawain is tricked and then proven valiant as he deals with the Green Knight. And since a study of the Middle Ages is hardly complete without knowledge of the famous Sir Roland or St. George, your children will be aptly introduced to these brave knights. Appealing sketches and poetry can be found throughout. These stories would work well for the elementary to junior high-aged child. By the time your students are presented with more challenging interpretations, they will be well prepared.

Product review by Tammy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2009