LE MORTE DARTHUR by Sir Thomas Malory

LE MORTE DARTHUR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No matter what versions of the King Arthur legends are first known to young people, some whisper of the source in Malory's classic version is heard, but seldom is the Malory volume, in whatever bowdlerized edition, pursued. Adults researching the age of chivalry consider this a necessity, but only in comparatively recent times has the first manuscript copy been discovered and released. Malory wrote- in 1470- before the introduction of printing. Fifteen years later Caxton printed the text using the title attached by Malory only to the last of the eight romances. Successive editions, translations, versions etc., have been issued over the years, the best the A.W. Pollard rendering published in 1900, revised as printed for the Medici Society in crown quarto in 1920. It is on that version that this is based. Malory saw the rise of infantry and artillery and wrote of knighthood in vein. The material appeared as a series not a single tale; Caxton's chapter headings have their own traditional value and are retained here, as is Malory's English, which even today is carried by the flow of narrative. A glossary is included however. Two keys to understanding are stressed in the introduction -- the ecstasy of the mystic as exemplified by the Galahad story; the theme of the occult, with Merlin as deus ex-machine, and various female counterparts. The undercurrent of dissent from Rome is perhaps less readily sensed, while the two great love stories and the theme of the pursuit of the Holy Grail dominate the whole. Here is an important segment of our English heritage in unexpurgated form. A Must for all libraries.

ISBN: 1420932810
Publisher: University Books