This book is better known as one third of a classic volume–Bulfinch’s Mythology, which includes The Age of Fable (published 1855), The Age of Chivalry, or Legends of King Arthur (published 1858) and Legends of Charlemagne. The whole collection was one of my constant companions through childhood. I wore out the copies at my elementary and middle school libraries, I’m sure. It’s a great reference book, and, indeed, a lot of libraries keep a copy in their non-circulating reference collection. Or used to. I don’t really know what libraries keep in their reference collections in these post-Internet days.
But I kept Bulfinch’s Mythology on hand, I confess, primarily for the sake of reading and re-reading The Age of Fable. Until this year, with the exception of occasionally reading a brief entry on some character from Arthurian lore for research, I’d never read the second two books in the compendium. So, over the course of the past few weeks, having nothing else to do (hah!), I tackled these tales of the Round Table, and their token coverage of Robin Hood, King Richard and a few other note-worthies of British folklore.