Lancelot and the Lord of the Distant IslesBuy this book

$26.95 Hardcover
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288 pages
David R. Godine,

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Review in Arthuriana

Three brief excerpts of Lancelot and the Lord of the Distant Isles may be heard read aloud here by Samuel N. Rosenberg. The first is the passage immediately following this paragraph, in which Galehaut first notices the young Lancelot, incognito in his black armor:

The fighting became even fiercer, but still the Black Knight managed to prevent the rout of Arthur’s army. Then his last horse was killed, and the fighting was so thick around him that his squire could not get through. On foot now, like a war flag fixed in the ground, his sword slashing left and right, he was soon surrounded by dead and wounded knights, their helmets broken, their shields in pieces, their chain mail in tatters, arms cut off the shoulder. Galehaut, watching in wonder, thought . . .

When the battle has ended, Galehaut introduces himself to the Black Knight, learns that he is Lancelot of Benoic, and expresses surprise that he has been fighting in defense of King Arthur:

“Don’t you know that your father lost his kingdom because Arthur had no time to come to his help?”

Lancelot was too startled to respond immediately. Then he said, “I fight with a sword that was given to me by the queen.”

The second reading follows immediately:

From his vantage point, Gawain . . .

The final audio excerpt occurs much later, after an important battle which, with the indispensable help of both Lancelot and Galehaut, King Arthur has won:

At last, leaving a garrison to hold Saxon Rock, the Britons made their way slowly back to their homeland. When they reached Carleon, Galehaut took leave of the king, asking him to allow Lancelot to accompany him to Sorelais. Reluctantly, Arthur gave permission; they would rejoin him at Camelot in time for Christmas.

As they rode away, Galehaut . . .