The Morte d'Arthur is written in the second half of the fifteenth century, a period tormented for England, marked in particular by the War of the Two Roses. The attribution of the Morte d'Arthur to Malory is not certain, for if the work has been attributed to an author by the name of Thomas Malory, several English personalities bear this name. The theory of the American G. L. Kittredge ascribing the work to Sir Thomas Malory of Warwickshire clearly prevails over the others.
The political situation of the country (and the retreat of the English in France) has certainly prompted Malory to compose this text, glorifying chivalry. The writing of the Dead of Arthur would be between 1468 and 1470, while Malory is in prison for his political ideas. The era of chivalry is drawing to a close with the arrival of artillery and gunpowder. A certain nostalgia emerges from the work, coupled with an obvious parallel between Le Morte d'Arthur and the situation of Malory himself, as he writes it. Malory was able to take advantage of the Arthurian library of Jacques d'Armagnac, where he was detained in the south-west of France. Malory combines various French and English sources, a situation hitherto unprecedented in Arthurian literature.
The Morte d'Arthur is the most famous work that came out of the printing works of William Caxton in 1485. Until the 1930s, it was the only edition of the Morte d'Arthur available. The discovery of an earlier manuscript has highlighted some rewriting and retouching of the printer on the text.
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