Le Morte d'Arthur

Le Morte d'Arthur

by Thomas Malory

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Overview

The legends of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table have inspired some of the greatest works of literature--from Cervantes's Don Quixote to Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Although many versions exist, Malory's stands as the classic rendition. Malory wrote the book while in Newgate Prison during the last three years of his life; it was published some fourteen years later, in 1485, by William Caxton. The tales, steeped in the magic of Merlin, the powerful cords of the chivalric code, and the age-old dramas of love and death, resound across the centuries.

The stories of King Arthur, Lancelot, Queen Guenever, and Tristram and Isolde seem astonishingly moving and modern. Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur endures and inspires because it embodies mankind's deepest yearnings for brotherhood and community, a love worth dying for, and valor, honor, and chivalry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781727172461
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth J. Bryan is associate professor of English at Brown University. She is the author of Collaborative Meaning in Medieval Scribal Culture: The Otho LaZamon.

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Le Morte D'Arthur 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
This is not the "prettied up" Victorian (or later) King Arthur full of justice and nobility...at least not by current standards of justice and nobility. This is the story of King Arthur and his knights as translated/adapted/compiled (mostly from much older French manuscripts) by Sir Thomas Malory during the chaotic days of the Wars of the Roses. Most of the main characters are deeply flawed. This is even true of Arthur who spends most of his "screen time" being manipulated by either Merlin or Sir Gawain. The main character traits which get someone labeled as a "noble/worshipful knight" seem to be: 1. He fights well 2. He fights fairly 3. He speaks courteously 4. He is of noble birth Possess these four characteristics and just about anything else can be overlooked (the occasional rape, murder, adultery, etc.). Malory does not seem to comment one way or the other on this morality other than in the quest for the Sangreal where only the three (mostly) sinless (and virgin) knights are acceptable to God. I found the main story arcs interesting, but most of the minor events of which they were composed were repetitive in the extreme. Each story arc was a series of episodes most of which involved the protagonist fighting other random knights at battles, tournaments, or in single combat; sometimes to right a wrong, sometimes just for the sake of fighting. These encounters are all described using the same dozen or so stock phrases. This is a common device in older writing, I think, but it becomes quite tedious after a while. In my opinion, the last third of the book was much more interesting than the preceding 600 or so pages. It described the quest for the Sangreal and the events which led up to the death of Arthur in a much more cohesive manner than the other stories (the story of Sir Tristram and La Beal Isoud which takes up the middle third of the book was especially fragmentary). I would definitely recommend this book to fans of the Arthurian mythos as being closer to the source material than modern retellings, but I do not know whether the average reader would enjoy it or not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I ordered this book to simply have a bare bones edition until the Norton critical edition is published this fall. It arrived today and I am disappointed to find that it will not meet my needs. Baines states in the preface: 'the purpose of this book is to proivide a concise and lucid rendering of Le Morte d'Arthur in modern idiom for the benefit of those 'students and general readers who wish to obtain a firm grasp of the whole, but lack the time and enthusiasm necessary to perform this task for themselves' and that 'my procedure throughout has been to retell each tale 'in my own words''. If you are looking to do any scholarly work, this translation may not meets your needs either. I can't speak to the effectiveness of the translation for the general reader as I will not be reading it. It would have been nice if Barnes & Noble had included this bit of information about the translation in their description of this edition.
tronella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to the Librivox audiobook version, but the age of the text makes it pretty hard to follow in places, so I went back and reread some chapters at sacred-texts.com. My favourite parts of this were the parts I didn't already know (basically the whole Lancelot and Guinevere business and the grail quest) -- I think the best section is the bit where King Arthur is bored doesn't feel like paying taxes so he fights the entire Roman Empire, and then when he's defeated everyone and is in charge of everything he just goes home.
Elizabeth.Michele on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
despite the difficult language (this is an untranslated version) very good read.
jshillingford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, oversized hardcover edition of this classic work. Learn the story of King Arthur as is was first "recorded." Highly recommended!
dreamingtereza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An absolute childhood favorite - I took my Malory (and my thesaurus) everywhere! I fear I wore out a few copies before I acquired this sturdy hardcover.
JeffV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Malory was a medieval author who wrote the first recorded account of the largely mythical King Arthur. It is largely an account of the 100 knights of the round table (or "table round"). Unfortunately, these stories are rarely interesting (except maybe for graphic descriptions of quality kills) and it really gets tedious. The stories we commonly associate with King Arthur have their seeds here, but are fleshed out derivatives, it's hard to see the story we're all familiar with. Perhaps Malory was a minstrel and these tales made for good song, but for read, they are dull, dull, dull.
MorgannaKerrie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An essential Arthurian Legend text.
k8_not_kate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having adored T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" in high school, I figured I would read this classic treatment of the Arthurian legends and enjoy it as well. Unfortunately, Malory's work was far less entertaining. Sure, I expected prose from the 15th century to be a harder to get through and denser than White's 20th century treatment, but "Le Morte D'Arthur" barely has an actual story. Malory gives us a series of very repetitive events and makes it difficult to identify with or even care about the main characters. I did give the book three stars, though, almost completely on the strength of the first chapters that go over Arthur's rise to the throne and the final chapter recounting his legendary death. These are worth reading and are very good. Overall, though, if you are looking for a more meaningful and entertaining telling of the Arthurian legends, go to White.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I can appreciate it's standing as the English epic and the beauty of its prose, the key moments are disarrayed within a relentless series of encounters between incredible knights. Homer and Virgil are more believable and more touching because they are more human. Were I to recommend the death of Arthur, I would probably specify portions that avoid the action-movie feel of endless jousts. The opening sets the foundation of Arthur (Excalibur, Mordred) and is the only part involving Merlin. Perhaps a few sections in the middle regarding Sir Beumains, Sir Tritram, and the Lady Isoud would also be included. The last few hundred pages finally bring out a plot, showing the conflict between Lancelout and Arthur -- and the tragic result. If one wants to understand the nature of the knight errant, they might read just a few chapters to get the idea.
SaraPrindiville on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very long, but as usual interesting that something written so long ago is still relatively current.
drewandlori on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The mother of all Arthurian legends. Not the easiest reading, and extremely repetitious at points, but worth it if you like King Arthur stories. The ending chapters on the fall of Camelot are incredible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sky is cloudless and the moon is but a slender cresent in the deep darkness. Stars twinkle and shine above, and, on occasion, a shy comet may be seen. With a beautiful night sky comes the bite of cold, however. The temperature has dropped to nearly freezing and the dew turns to pale frost. Thin particles of ice begin to form on the bank of the lake which oozes warm steam into the frigid air. <p> ~ Sunset Scarlet
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