This 1970s paperback has been kicking around my collection since high school. I probably bought it after viewing "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," one of the first movies I was allowed to see in a theater without adult accompaniment.

Needless to say, Malory is not really as entertaining. I'm with Dennis the Constitutional Peasant: "Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government."

This edition of Malory has a glossary. For example, the questing beast "has the head of a serpent, the body of a leopard, the buttocks of a lion, and the feet of a hart. From its belly issues the sound of thirty pairs of yapping hounds. It is never brought to earth."

This Old Book started as a Tumblr, which is also archived on These are books that have survived many purges from my shelves over decades, with a few comments about why I have held onto them.

AuthorPatrick LaForge