Le Morte d'Arthur

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 ...
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Le Morte d'Arthur

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Le Morte d'Arthur remains an enchanted sea for the reader to swim about in, delighting at the random beauties of fifteenth-century prose."
--Robert Graves
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375753220
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Modern Library Series
  • Edition description: Complete in 1 Volume
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 992
  • Sales rank: 307,232
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet 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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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The not prettied-up Arthur

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Poor text scan

    Sub par.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Unreadable

    It may be free, but this is not the version for you!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Unreadable

    Whatever this book was, its nothing but computer gibberish now

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews

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