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Le Morte D'Arthur Volume 1

Thomas Malory Janet Cowen John Lawlor



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Penguin Classics
27 May 2004
Literary essays; Penguin Black Classics; Literature, Poetry & Criticism
Le Morte D'Arthur is Sir Thomas Malory's richly evocative and enthralling version of the Arhurian legend. Recounting Arthur's birth, his ascendancy to the throne after claiming the sword Excalibur, his ill-fated marriage to Buenever, the treachery of Morgan le Fay and the exploits of the Knights of the Round table, it magically weaves together adventure, battle, love and enchantment. Le Morte D'Arthur looks back to an idealized medieval world and is full of wistful, elegiac regret for a vanished age of chivalry. Edited and published by William Caxton in 1485, Malory's prose romance drew on French and English verse sources to give an epic unity to the Arthur myth, and remains the most magnificent retelling of the story in English. The text of this edition is based on Caxton's original printed edition, with modernized spelling and punctuation. John Lawlor's introduction discusses the figure of Arthur, the life and career of Malory and his unique prose style. This volume also contains notes and a glossary.
By:   Thomas Malory
Introduction by:   John Lawlor
Edited by:   Janet Cowen
Imprint:   Penguin Classics
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   362g
ISBN:   9780140430431
ISBN 10:   0140430431
Series:   Le Morte D'Arthur
Pages:   528
Publication Date:   27 May 2004
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

No one knows for sure who the author of Le Morte D'Arthur was, but the generally accepted theory is that of American scholar G.L. Kitteredge, who argued it was Sir Thomas Malory, born in the first quarter of the fifteenth century, and who spent the greatest part of his last twenty years in prison. Another possibility is a Thomas Malory of Studley and Hutton in Yorkshire, or an author living north of Warwickshire. It is generally accepted that the author was a member of the gentry and a Lancastrain. John Lawlor was Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Keele. He is the author of The Tragic Sense in Shakespeare, Piers Plowman: An Essay in Criticism and Chaucer. Janet Cowen is a senior lecturer in English at King's College, University of London.

Reviews for Le Morte D'Arthur Volume 1

Eight tales divided into 21 books, Malory's work, written many centuries after the events it purports to describe, is the apotheosis of Arthurian legend. It is both a ripping yarn and incalculably important in the effect it had on Englishmen's view of themselves. Le Morte d'Arthur made coherent in the 15th century what previously had been a mass of fable: starting with Arthur's birth, accession and marriage to Guinevere; taking in the begetting of his son Mordred with his half-sister Morgan; the creation of the Round Table, defeat of the Roman emperor Lucius and Arthur's coronation by the Pope; the emergence of Merlin, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table; the story of Tristram and Isode; the fragmentation of the Round Table and the knights' search for the Holy Grail; Lancelot and Guinevere's adultery and Arthur's discovery of it which resulted in war between the two men and Mordred's revolt against his father. It ends with Arthur's death in battle with Mordred, and the removal of his body to Avalon. Malory mentions the legend that the king still lives, awaiting the time when he is required to return. (Kirkus UK)

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