London: Macmillan, 1908. Library of English Classics. Hardcover. 8vo (8-1/2" x 5-1/2"). Two Volumes. Vol. I: xxviii, 439pp. Vol. II: xix, 531pp [4 advertisements]. Half-bound in blue leather with blue cloth, gilt title, author and decorations to darkened spine. Bibliographical note by A.W. Pollard, reprint of origanal preface by William Caxton. Text blocks of both volumes tight and unmarked. Very good +. Item #1227
There looms large, uncertain, dim but glittering, the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Somewhere in the island a great captain gathered the forces of Roman Britain and fought the barbarian invaders to the death. Around him, around his name and his deeds, shine all that romance and poetry can bestow. True or false, they have gained an immortal hold upon the thoughts of men. If we could see exactly what happened we should find ourselves in the presence of a theme as well founded, as inspired, and as inalienable for the inheritance of mankind as the Odyssey or the Old Testament. It is all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides. And wherever men are fighting against barbarism, tyranny and massacre, for freedom law and honor, let them remember that the fame of their deeds, even though they themselves be exterminated, maybe perhaps be celebrated as long as the world rolls round. Let us then declare the King Arthur and his noble knights, guarding the Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order, sustained by valor, physical strength, and good horses and armor, slaughtered innumerable hosts of foul barbarians and set decent folks an example for all time. Sir Winston S. Churchill from The Island Race.