Thomas Malory did not invent the stories of Arthur, King of Britain, but it is fair to say that he reinvented them. Although the legends were already hundreds of years old by the fifteenth century, the contemporary stories of Arthur in Malory’s day were primarily French. The French had added many of the elements familiar to modern readers, among them Lancelot, and the search for the Holy Grail. Malory combined, edited, and added some of his own material to the stories available to him, and in the process created a uniquely British work. (It was his printer Caxton who gave it a French name.) Le Morte d’Arthur is the source material for almost all modern retellings of King Arthur and his knights, from Hollywood movies and musicals to Nobel-prize winning writers.
Malory’s identity is still in some dispute, as there are several men of various spellings of the name to choose from. Sir Thomas Malory from Newbold Revel in Warwickshire is the most popular choice, but his life of crime—he was a rapist and serial thief at the minimum—seems to be at odds with the acts of chivalry and moral code present in this book. It is known from the author’s own notes that he wrote the book while in prison; perhaps he was trying to make amends for his crimes. Regardless, the result was to give new life to King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
This ebook is only thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that the contents of this ebook are free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before downloading or using this ebook.
A brief history of this ebook
Update CSS to new standards
Add production note about spelling.
Finish metadata and initial publication
Tweak semantics and styles
Improve this ebook
Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!
To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.
If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.