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Le Morte D'Arthur


Le Morte D'Arthur


[This is the complete two-volume edition.]

Drawing on the legends of Camelot from French and English sources, Sir Thomas Malory compiled the drama of illicit love, the magic of sorcery, and the quest for the Holy Grail into a sordid and chivalrous tale that's been recounted for centuries.

One of the first books published using the printing press Le Morte D'Arthur is not only the first novel in English, but (arguably) the first novel of fantasy fiction.

Sir Thomas Malory's compilation of English tales and stories translated from the French about the legendary King Arthur and his kingdom of Camelot tells of Arthur's ascent to the throne following his removal of the sword from the stone, his choosing of his most valorous knights to serve as his Knights of the Round Table, his receipt of the enchanted sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, his marriage to the Lady Guenever, his adventures with Sir Lancelot, and his quest to find the Holy Grail.  

Not only celebrating the life of King Arthur and the chivalric ideals of his knights, Malory also illustrates the tragic disintegration of the fellowship of the Round Table: treachery and rivalry break up the company, and when Lancelot and Guinevere’s passion is forced into the open, Arthur becomes trapped in a cycle of violence and revenge.      

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table still inspire many books, films  and works of art today.

SIR THOMAS MALORY (1415–1471) was an English writer and the author of Le Morte d'Arthur. Most experts agree that Thomas Malory was Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revell, Warwickshire who was knighted in 1442 and served in the Parliament of 1445. He committed a series of crimes, including poaching, extortion, robbery, and murder. In 1451, he went to prison. Originally, Le Morte D’Arthur was called The Book of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table that was comprised of 8 romances, more or less separate. William Caxton printed the work in 1485.

"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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