Thomas Malory

In 1469-70, a man named Thomas Malory (1405-1471) sat down to write a book about the adventures of King Arthur and his knights – a book that indirectly gave rise to works ranging from the novels of Sir Walter Scott and the poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson to the Prince Valiant comics and Camelot musicals of the twentieth century. Produced at the height of the Wars of the Roses (c.1469-70), then published by England's first printer, William Caxton, in 1485, Malory's text has been seen throughout the past five hundred years as both an idealisation of perfect knightly behaviour and a thoroughly bad example... and sometimes as both at once. Writing from prison, Malory adapts a bewilderingly wide variety of sources – including English histories, books of prophecy, popular romances and prestigious French Arthurian cycles – to produce a text that is often seen as the point of inception for modern-day Arthurian storytelling. Preserved in two prints and a long-lost manuscript, all dating from the late fifteenth century, it encompasses, in Caxton's words, 'noble chivalry, courtesy, humanity, friendliness, hardiness, love, friendship, cowardice, murder, hate, virtue, and sin', and is still...
Read the essay: Thomas Malory - An Introduction by Anna Caughey
# Title Description Author
1 La Mort d'Arthure .. (v 1)

Edited from the text of the edition of 1634, with introduction and notes by Thomas Wright....

Thomas Malory
2 The history of the renowned Prince Arthur, King of Britain; ... (v 1)

First printed by Caxton, in 1485; 2nd ed. by Wynkyn de Worde in 1498
Full title: The...

Thomas Malory
3 The history of the renowned Prince Arthur, King of Britain; ... (v 2)

First printed by Caxton, in 1485; 2nd ed. by Wynkyn de Worde in 1498
Full title: The...

Thomas Malory
4 Morte Darthur

The original edition of Caxton, revised for modern use, with an introduction by Sir Edward...

Thomas Malory
# Essay Title Description Contributor
1 Print and Manuscript

From 1485 until 1934, Malory's text was known only from the print produced by William Caxton: '...

Anna Caughey
2 'Drawn out of Freynsh': Malory and His Sources

Malory repeatedly refers to his works as having been 'drawn out of Freynsh'. When a particular...

Anna Caughey
3 Arthurian Afterlives

Early Modern Arthur

After Caxton's ...

Anna Caughey
4 Thomas Malory - An Introduction

In 1469-70, a man named Thomas Malory (1405-1471) sat down to write a...

Anna Caughey
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Le Morte Darthur first page

First page of William Caxton's edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur 1485

2 Bedivere

How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword Excalibur into the Water. Illustration from: Sir Thomas Malory...