Although Le Morte Darthur (also known as Le Morte d'Arthur) is universally accepted as a masterpiece of imaginative literature, so much mystery surrounds the identity of the author (that is, which one of several Sir Thomas Malorys of the 15th century actually wrote it) that any one definitive biography seems imprudent. The only direct information extant concerning the author is that a Sir Thomas Malory completed the book while he was a "knight-prisoner" in the ninth year of Edward IV's reign, from March 4, 1469, to March 3, 1470. All the rest is conjecture.
In the 16th century John Bale associated Malory with Welsh origins mainly because of a place called Mailoria in Wales and because of the subject matter of the book. There are no records, however, of a Thomas Malory in Wales in the 15th century. Although several other Thomas Malorys were suggested, the next serious candidate was identified by George L. Kittredge at the end of the 19th century as Sir Thomas Malory, Knight, of New-bold Revel, Warwickshire. This Thomas Malory, who, as the record shows, led an active and colorful life, has been accepted as the author of Le Morte Darthur by most scholars.
But to Sir Thomas Malory he gives all the honour of having provided him with the copy which he printed. And ever since, for more than four hundred years, successive generations have approved the fitness of Caxton's choice. For it is Malory's book, and not the older forms of King Arthur's story which we still read for enjoyment, and for the illustration of which scholars edit those earlier books. Only a true poem, the offspring of genius, could have so held, and be still holding its ground, age after age. It may be said that it is chiefly with boys, and with men who have formed the taste by their boyish reading, that the book is so popular. But is not this so with the Iliad too? Men of mature intellect and taste read and re-read the Iliad with ever new discoveries, appreciation, and enjoyment; but it may be questioned whether there are many, or even any, of them who did not begin those studies at school, and learn to love Homer before they knew that he was worthy of their love. And they who have given most of such reading, in youth and in manhood, to Malory's Morte Darthur will be the most able and ready to recognise its claim to the character of an Epic poem.
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A wonderful bright clean copy free of any markings, writings, or stamps. Sharp corners that are not bumped. Tight and square spine. Unread book. No attached bookplates or indication of any removed.
- Easton Press
- Easton Press (1983)
- Leather Bound (Full genuine leather)
- Limited Edition
- 12.1 x 9.7 x 4.5 inches