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Men of Iron

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Men of Iron is an 1891 novel by the American author Howard Pyle, who also illustrated it. Set in the 15th century, it is a juvenile "coming of age" work in which a young squire, Myles Falworth, seeks not only to become a knight but to eventually redeem his father's honor. In Chapter 24 the knighthood ceremony is presented and described as it would be in a non-fiction work Men of Iron is an 1891 novel by the American author Howard Pyle, who also illustrated it. Set in the 15th century, it is a juvenile "coming of age" work in which a young squire, Myles Falworth, seeks not only to become a knight but to eventually redeem his father's honor. In Chapter 24 the knighthood ceremony is presented and described as it would be in a non-fiction work concerning knighthood and chivalry. Descriptions of training equipment are also given throughout. In 1954 it was made into a movie called The Black Shield of Falworth.


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Men of Iron is an 1891 novel by the American author Howard Pyle, who also illustrated it. Set in the 15th century, it is a juvenile "coming of age" work in which a young squire, Myles Falworth, seeks not only to become a knight but to eventually redeem his father's honor. In Chapter 24 the knighthood ceremony is presented and described as it would be in a non-fiction work Men of Iron is an 1891 novel by the American author Howard Pyle, who also illustrated it. Set in the 15th century, it is a juvenile "coming of age" work in which a young squire, Myles Falworth, seeks not only to become a knight but to eventually redeem his father's honor. In Chapter 24 the knighthood ceremony is presented and described as it would be in a non-fiction work concerning knighthood and chivalry. Descriptions of training equipment are also given throughout. In 1954 it was made into a movie called The Black Shield of Falworth.

30 review for Men of Iron

  1. 4 out of 5

    Curtiss

    This novel was the basis of the Hollywood movie, "The Black Shield of Falworth," starring Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh. It depicts the struggle of young Myles Falworth to learn the truth about his family's disgrace in mediaeval England during the reign of Henry IV, and his training as first a squire and later as a knight to prepare him to avenge his father's honor and restore the family name of Falworth on the roster of English chivalry. The movie version heightens the story's drama by adding a s This novel was the basis of the Hollywood movie, "The Black Shield of Falworth," starring Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh. It depicts the struggle of young Myles Falworth to learn the truth about his family's disgrace in mediaeval England during the reign of Henry IV, and his training as first a squire and later as a knight to prepare him to avenge his father's honor and restore the family name of Falworth on the roster of English chivalry. The movie version heightens the story's drama by adding a second love interest for Myles' best friend, and by increasing the stakes by making the villain an outright traitor with plans to overthrow King Henry. It also includes Prince Hal, in a role where his historical roistering debauchery is treated as a ruse to conceal his own efforts to uncover the plot while at the same time gives him the chance to advance the fortunes of young Myles. The book was very informative regarding the training, habits, and mores of that era in English history. It also appears on recommended reading lists of great literature.

  2. 4 out of 5

    zane deann

    Ehh. I liked it, but didn't love it - too much thee-ing and thou-ing for my taste, plus it was written in the early 1900s style of Old English. (Did they really talk like that, or is that just what early twentieth century authors thought they talked like?) I used to love Robin Hood by the same author, though. xP I was kind of obsessed with Robin Hood for a while. 3 stars. Ehh. I liked it, but didn't love it - too much thee-ing and thou-ing for my taste, plus it was written in the early 1900s style of Old English. (Did they really talk like that, or is that just what early twentieth century authors thought they talked like?) I used to love Robin Hood by the same author, though. xP I was kind of obsessed with Robin Hood for a while. 3 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lara Lee

    A knight's tale This was a very straightforward story of a boy becoming a successful knight and doing great deeds. It is fun, historical, and easy to read. I enjoyed it even though it was not very complicated in character development or plot. A knight's tale This was a very straightforward story of a boy becoming a successful knight and doing great deeds. It is fun, historical, and easy to read. I enjoyed it even though it was not very complicated in character development or plot.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Jamison

    Not as good as Robin Hood but this was a very fun read! I especially loved his childhood! When he grew up I couldn't help but lose a little interest. XD Still, I was cheering him on through the whole book and enjoyed the whole thing!! Not as good as Robin Hood but this was a very fun read! I especially loved his childhood! When he grew up I couldn't help but lose a little interest. XD Still, I was cheering him on through the whole book and enjoyed the whole thing!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eloria

    This kind of reminded me of treasure island for some reason. I think maybe it was how it was written and the coming of age themes. Overall this was a pretty fun story, except I did't quite like the way it ended with what the Priest said. But I don't wanna spoil anything so you'll have to read to see what he says😂 This kind of reminded me of treasure island for some reason. I think maybe it was how it was written and the coming of age themes. Overall this was a pretty fun story, except I did't quite like the way it ended with what the Priest said. But I don't wanna spoil anything so you'll have to read to see what he says😂

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dee Miller

    Audible.com 6 hours and 8 min. Narrated by Simon Vance (A) Why has it taken me 73 years to discover the magical gifts of author and illustrator Howard Pyle? This book was first published in 1891. It's a classic as are the stories of Robinhood and The Story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I've used Google to search out the illustrations for these books--most done in pen and ink. I particularly enjoyed this story of a young man who learns slowly throughout of the robbery of his b Audible.com 6 hours and 8 min. Narrated by Simon Vance (A) Why has it taken me 73 years to discover the magical gifts of author and illustrator Howard Pyle? This book was first published in 1891. It's a classic as are the stories of Robinhood and The Story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I've used Google to search out the illustrations for these books--most done in pen and ink. I particularly enjoyed this story of a young man who learns slowly throughout of the robbery of his blind father's position and wealth. Stories like these teach important lessons of the value of hard work, dedication to family and friends, honor, valor, and commitment. One chapter deals with the details of the knighthood ceremony. I've wondered about "The Order of the Bath" and now I understand its significance.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chase Jones

    Good coming of age story. Wouldn’t mind if my son read this one day. Lots of qualities portrayed in good ways; friendship, honesty, chivalry, how to treat ladies with respect, fighting for what’s right, triumph over evil, etc. I listened to the audiobook and Robert Whitfield does an excellent job narrating the old English.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

    Absolutely amazing! Five stars! I loved the plot and the valiancy of the knights. Pyle uses such elaborate descriptions for each of his characters. It was such an amazing story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Oh man, Howard Pyle is converting me to love medieval stories. Out of the three I've read so far (Robin Hood, Otto of the Silver Hand, and Men of Iron), Men of Iron is solidly my favorite. This is a story of a boy becoming a man, of honor and revenge, wisdom and folly, romantic love, faithfulness, loyalty, hate... What do you enjoy in a good story? This one has all of the essentials. True, it isn't really a comedy (do read Pyle's Robin Hood for that!), but it is such a satisfying tale in every o Oh man, Howard Pyle is converting me to love medieval stories. Out of the three I've read so far (Robin Hood, Otto of the Silver Hand, and Men of Iron), Men of Iron is solidly my favorite. This is a story of a boy becoming a man, of honor and revenge, wisdom and folly, romantic love, faithfulness, loyalty, hate... What do you enjoy in a good story? This one has all of the essentials. True, it isn't really a comedy (do read Pyle's Robin Hood for that!), but it is such a satisfying tale in every other respect. Highly recommended!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Men Of Iron, Howard Pyle Wow, what a great little book! It centers around a young man, Myles Falworth, who is unwittingly caught up in the political intrigue during the transition from King Richard II to King Henry the IV. The new king follows the tradition of taking out the colleagues of his predecessor. As a boy Myles' father is blinded, exiled, and still wanted for treason for aiding and harboring a loyalist to the former king during this time. His family finds protection and anonymity and he Men Of Iron, Howard Pyle Wow, what a great little book! It centers around a young man, Myles Falworth, who is unwittingly caught up in the political intrigue during the transition from King Richard II to King Henry the IV. The new king follows the tradition of taking out the colleagues of his predecessor. As a boy Myles' father is blinded, exiled, and still wanted for treason for aiding and harboring a loyalist to the former king during this time. His family finds protection and anonymity and he grows up a peasant until his father sends him away to a former friend who still has power in the government to enter into his service and attain knighthood. Eventually with help and guidance (unknown to him at first) he becomes a knight and avenges his father's honor and estate. I love tales of revenge. Especially righteous revenge. But it's not just a revenge story. It's a classic "coming of age" tale that focuses on middle age chivalry. Myles is studied as he grows from his more naive and impressionable outlook on what is honorable and right to a more mature viewpoint. His boldness is helped by the fact that he's favored by his lord and master so his youthful ideals are validated. There's the disappointment of realizing that the facts of life aren't' as simple and black and white as he assumes in his youth, but he never becomes cynical as he learns to deal with the complexities of coming into his own. He remains pure at heart and heroically turns the fortunes of his own family and that of his benefactors' as well. What really loved was the details of life at the time period. His time spent as a squire, the rigors of the work, and the fromal social interactions are historically delicious. His knighthood ceremony where he is finally inducted into the Order of the Bath by the king he was soon to defy is regarded as a nonfictional account of the proceedings. It's packed full of a lot of details and intensity for what is actually a short novelette. At times it seems too short, but classic literature was specially gifted for keeping things simple while unfolding a great yarn. I loved and if this is any indication of how Pyle's other works are, I'll be checking out more of them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    This is the the coming of age story of Myles Falworth, the son of a nobleman who supported the wrong king, making the new King Henry IV royally annoyed and sending the family into hiding until Myles grew up enough to become a squire and then a knight, and then a seasoned warrior who could challenge the family's chief enemy, the Earl of Alban. Myles supporters includes Henry IV's son, Prince Hal, with a brief digression into the disagreements of father and son from an interesting perspective. Alo This is the the coming of age story of Myles Falworth, the son of a nobleman who supported the wrong king, making the new King Henry IV royally annoyed and sending the family into hiding until Myles grew up enough to become a squire and then a knight, and then a seasoned warrior who could challenge the family's chief enemy, the Earl of Alban. Myles supporters includes Henry IV's son, Prince Hal, with a brief digression into the disagreements of father and son from an interesting perspective. Along the way, Myles of course meets the young noblewoman who he loves in at first a Platonic way, becomes her knight, and later seeks her hand in marriage. As a young adult novel of a previous generation, there are moral questions to be dealt with, since Myles has engaged in a battle to the death with his family's foe. Was it moral to kill him? It's interesting that Pyle felt it necessary to ask. What sets this book apart from the herd is its wonderful employment of middle English speech to give the story a wonderful feel of medieval English life. I suspect the language is more Shakespearean than English of the 1400s, but it's still a pleasure to read. And I think I'll take to calling my secluded backyard my "pleasance."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jones

    You have to like reading books in King James English to like this. If you do, it's a lot of fun. Available on librivox but with many different readers. That can be good as you hear different people struggle with the Elizabethan prose. This book definitely picks up on how young people were shaped in the code of chivalry and honor that existed at the time. But God created Myles As someone who had this intense sense of honor right in his bones. Honor on steroids (pardon the humorous analogy). As a C You have to like reading books in King James English to like this. If you do, it's a lot of fun. Available on librivox but with many different readers. That can be good as you hear different people struggle with the Elizabethan prose. This book definitely picks up on how young people were shaped in the code of chivalry and honor that existed at the time. But God created Myles As someone who had this intense sense of honor right in his bones. Honor on steroids (pardon the humorous analogy). As a Christian, I'm not sure I can place the family honor and fighting for my father's name on such a high plane. Sometimes I struggled because Myles doesn't always love his neighbor as himself. This worldview and timeframe has much to teach us, but I wouldn't want my son to grow up here.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jack Massa

    Enjoyable YA adventure, set at the height of the age of chivalry, but written with the stong moral force (and occasional moralizing) of the Victorian era.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    This was a read aloud story to my boys. The old english was hard at first to understand and get into, but we persevered and by the end the boys were cheering the battles and didn't want me to stop reading. Great book for medieval study. This was a read aloud story to my boys. The old english was hard at first to understand and get into, but we persevered and by the end the boys were cheering the battles and didn't want me to stop reading. Great book for medieval study.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Grace

    DNF

  16. 4 out of 5

    RWaggoner

    Reread with elementary age child. Pyle is a master storyteller and I think this is my favorite of his books. Period language is well done. Captivating story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brit Chhangur

    Easily one of my favourite books. The kids loved it too!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Rangel

    I didn't have very definitive images in my mind of what was going on. Also, I was not very attached to the characters. I didn't have very definitive images in my mind of what was going on. Also, I was not very attached to the characters.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This was one of the first books I read in elementary school. My mom had found it at a garage sale and thought I might like it. It’s a simple story, not hard to follow, and great for an early reader. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was very engaged. It remains one of my favorites because of the nostalgia.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Jelen

    It is always refreshing to read a story that makes no effort to keep to the principle of Chekhov's gun. It is always refreshing to read a story that makes no effort to keep to the principle of Chekhov's gun.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ladydusk

    Own as Audio CD read by Jim Weiss. I hope to change to the correct edition soon ... We listened to Men of Iron on a long trip. We enjoyed the story; the exploits and doings of Myles Falworth were exciting. His maturation throughout the book was well done - from foolish boy to brave, wise knight. His foolish misunderstandings were brought on, at least partially, from the lack of information the adults in his life gave him. Yet, the revelations of friendship, enemy, and history all moved the plot a Own as Audio CD read by Jim Weiss. I hope to change to the correct edition soon ... We listened to Men of Iron on a long trip. We enjoyed the story; the exploits and doings of Myles Falworth were exciting. His maturation throughout the book was well done - from foolish boy to brave, wise knight. His foolish misunderstandings were brought on, at least partially, from the lack of information the adults in his life gave him. Yet, the revelations of friendship, enemy, and history all moved the plot along. Much of the story of Myles' training revolved around his character, both the good and the bad. He was a natural leader, yet sometimes his leadership caused more trouble than necessary. Perhaps our children were a little young for this. In some ways, the story was nuanced and the language difficult for them. We did have to explain what was going on in several places. They all insisted, however, that they liked the story, and since we own it, can listen again in the future. While we generally enjoy Jim Weiss and his CDs, this one seemed less professional than we've come to expect. There were places where obvious corrections were made that were distracting to the adult listener.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    This classic novel of knights in shining armour, British Kings, and jousting is really great literature. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if I could. Don't get me wrong, this is isn't a thrill a minute. It is actually quite slow and methodical. But, I learned a lot about how people became knights and what they were required to do, and I enjoyed a coming-of-age adventure story at the same time. Myles Falworth is a boy of 16 when he is sent to a nearby castle learn how to become a knight. I didn't like him This classic novel of knights in shining armour, British Kings, and jousting is really great literature. I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if I could. Don't get me wrong, this is isn't a thrill a minute. It is actually quite slow and methodical. But, I learned a lot about how people became knights and what they were required to do, and I enjoyed a coming-of-age adventure story at the same time. Myles Falworth is a boy of 16 when he is sent to a nearby castle learn how to become a knight. I didn't like him much at first...he is cocky and stubborn and gets himself into trouble often. But, slowly, Myles learns to hold his temper and becomes a great knight of the 14th century. The story interested me enough, that I did some follow-up reading after I finished the book yesterday about King Richard II, King Henry IV, and King Henry V. Excellent writing with some beautiful comments by Howard Pyle about growing up as a boy in that age.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Beach

    This is a wonderful "Boys' Book." I read it decades ago, and it still appeals to this 50-year-old boy, perhaps because it makes me first like that young lad I was in the early 1970s. That is it's greatest strength, I feel; it captures and romanticizes knighthood in the time of King Henry IV for impressionable boys of all ages. There are clear cut villains and characters of nobel heart. Certainly meant for young adults, it is a coming-of-age story, and did, not doubt, help to shape the man I event This is a wonderful "Boys' Book." I read it decades ago, and it still appeals to this 50-year-old boy, perhaps because it makes me first like that young lad I was in the early 1970s. That is it's greatest strength, I feel; it captures and romanticizes knighthood in the time of King Henry IV for impressionable boys of all ages. There are clear cut villains and characters of nobel heart. Certainly meant for young adults, it is a coming-of-age story, and did, not doubt, help to shape the man I eventually grew into. It is also a pretty good 1954 movie starring Tony Curtis, "The Black Shield of Falworth," although the movie uses characters who really are too old, and skips most of the youthful boy stories that come early in the book. I would love to see this remade to feature youthful British actors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sylvester

    Knights and squires, tournaments and jousting - Pyle handles his subject with ease, adding authenticity with his use of Old English words and phrases. I especially appreciate the skill with which he paces the story, unhurried, taking time to build the tale, and never overdoing the description. He makes it look easy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    Lovely, predictable, knightly stuff.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James

    It is always nice to read/listen to an young reader's book once in a while. I love stories of pages and knights. Fiction or nonfiction. A nice book which to return to earlier years. It is always nice to read/listen to an young reader's book once in a while. I love stories of pages and knights. Fiction or nonfiction. A nice book which to return to earlier years.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    This was an extremely well done book of knights and chivalry. Yet more impressive, it is the best literary transition of a boy to a man that I have ever read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert M Gallagher

    Still holds up as an adult. Severely underrated novel about coming of age in the Middle Ages.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Thomas

    This book was really good! The main character is a boy named Myles Falworth, who is very ambitious. His father was exiled for treason while Myles was still very young. He grew up very poor until he was sent away to live under the protection of one of his father’s friends that has political power. Myles is entered into service to gain knighthood in an attempt to regain his father’s honor. While Myles continues to grow and learn, he becomes optimistic. His optimistic attitude and ambition drive hi This book was really good! The main character is a boy named Myles Falworth, who is very ambitious. His father was exiled for treason while Myles was still very young. He grew up very poor until he was sent away to live under the protection of one of his father’s friends that has political power. Myles is entered into service to gain knighthood in an attempt to regain his father’s honor. While Myles continues to grow and learn, he becomes optimistic. His optimistic attitude and ambition drive him to success and his knighthood. The ceremony of his knighthood was very descriptive and realistic to what could very likely have been the traditions of knights in the past. During the first chapters of the book, it seems as if Myles is seeking revenge for his father, but as he develops more character growth and guidance, the story’s theme changes to more of a classic “coming of age” story. The way the book is laid out for character development is amazing, making the characters actually seem like people you can meet every day. The book at parts seemed too short, but the writing and character development is simple yet very descriptive. For me, at age 15 I found the book a little boring, but I still definitely recommend this book to audiences under the age of 15, especially because of the great story Howard Pyle managed to write.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    Originally written in 1891, my copy was copyrighted in 1919. But it was in decent shape and I was interested in reading the story of King Henry lV and King Richard ll in England in the 1400's. The story is only slightly about them, and actually is the tale of Myles Falworth, as a youth being sent from Crosbey-Dale to Devlen castle to work and be trained to whatever use the Earl deemed him fit. When I later found out that the book had been made into a movie and that it was considered a children's Originally written in 1891, my copy was copyrighted in 1919. But it was in decent shape and I was interested in reading the story of King Henry lV and King Richard ll in England in the 1400's. The story is only slightly about them, and actually is the tale of Myles Falworth, as a youth being sent from Crosbey-Dale to Devlen castle to work and be trained to whatever use the Earl deemed him fit. When I later found out that the book had been made into a movie and that it was considered a children's book -that is, a youth coming of age, I thought of some of the difficulties that I had with reading it. Nay, methinks it would be quite a task....'one must e'en let thee privily out by the postern wicket.' That is to say, Shakespeare would be easy compared to this reading. Myles, however, was an interesting character, and the book - despite the words and language that I either tripped over, or tip-toed through, was a decent one.

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