Le Morte Darthur

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Le Morte d'Arthur

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What People Are Saying

Edward Donald Kennedy
P. J. C. Field has revised his long-out-of-print edition of the seventh and eighth tales of Morte Darthur, which are arguably the best and most influential parts of Malory's book. This edition offers students an excellent, affordable introduction to Malory's tragedy and to Arthurian romance in general and is the ideal text for the instructor who does not have time in class to teach the earlier parts of the book as well. The substantial seventy-seven-page Introduction presents essential and accurate information about the development of the Arthurian legend and the social, intellectual, and historical context in which Malory's book was written as well as discussions of Malory's French and English sources, the content and style of Morte Darthur, and the life of the author. The edition includes a detailed commentary, considerably expanded from the earlier version; glosses at the bottom of the page; and a glossary of words not immediately recognizable to those unaccustomed to reading Middle English. This text is an excellent work of scholarship by the leading authority on Sir Thomas Malory and will be welcome to those who teach general courses in medieval literature, in Middle English, and in comparative Arthurian romance. (Edward Donald Kennedy, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Norris J. Lacy
P. J. C. Field, the world's preeminent Malory specialist, has wisely chosen to offer here Malory's seventh and eighth tales, recounting the decline and end of Camelot. The authoritative text is accompanied by indispensable notes and preceded by a remarkably thorough and learned - but never obscure - Introduction sufficient to prepare students and other readers to profit fully from the texts. This book is ideal for those coming to Malory for the first time and a distinct pleasure for those who already know him well. (Norris J. Lacy, E. E. Sparks Professor of French and Medieval Studies, Penn State University)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781272621216
  • Publisher: Nabu Press
  • Publication date: 1/19/2012
  • Pages: 478
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

P. J. C. Field is Professor Emeritus of English, University of Wales, Bangor, and President of the International Arthurian Society.

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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


    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


    Whatever this book was, its nothing but computer gibberish now

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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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