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Le Morte D'Arthur Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cassell
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304353671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304353675
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.6 x 6.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,105,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
King Uther Pendragon, ruler of all Britain, had been at war for many years with the Duke of Tintagil in Cornwall when he was told of the beauty of Lady Igraine, the duke's wife. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The earlier rendition by Keith Baines of Mallory's classic work, 'Le Morte d'Arthur', went out of print, but the demand was such that there was bound to be a press that would pick it up. All hail to Signet for doing so here! They have taken the old text and reprinted it, practically as a photo-stat. Even the pagination has remained the same, but the print face is a bit cleaner than the older copy in a side-by-side comparison (I purchased the Signet edition, thinking it was a revision, when I already had the older Baines edition -- they are the same).
Sir Thomas Mallory was a great one to write the adventures of King Arthur and his knights - a knight himself, he led a life of intrigue and adventure, albeit not one that always lived up to the ideas of chivalry he penned at the heart of the Arthurian legends. Mallory did not invent Arthur; he is one of the principle medieval chroniclers, having time (he was in prison with nothing else to do, after all) to set down in prose stories he'd heard throughout his life. These were popular tales, not always told in the same way with the same details, as is true of most oral legends and transmitted stories, much to the later frustration of scholars and readers. The earliest printing of Mallory's stories had his authorship suppressed by Caxton, one of the better-known publishers of the time.
The earliest Arthurian legends date back as far as the late Roman times in Britain. Controversies abound, but many have settled on a late Roman or Romano-British general named Arturius - however, given the linguistic nature of the name (it is derivative of ruler or leader), it is impossible to know if this was in fact a name or a title, and the legends may be compilations of the acts of many leaders bearing the name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. R. on Jan. 2 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In his preface, the translator Keith Baines asserts that he attempted to "provide a concise and lucid rendering of Le Morte d'Arthur" and to clarify "those episodes which, for the purpose in hand, seemed obscure, and condensing those which seemed prolix."
As an example of this condensation in progress, Baines version of The Tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake is 19 pages long. Steinbeck's translation of the same story (which had the goal of accurately preserving the story as told in the Winchester Ms.) runs over 100 pages. Throughout, Baines' edition is horribly abridged. He leaves most of the basic facts from the story intact (though some parts of his translation, especially concerning the obscurer genealogies, are plain wrong when compared to most other editions). However, he cuts all elements that make reading the legend enjoyable.
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By A Customer on Oct. 29 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the quest, thus far, to discover the truth about King Arthur, I have encountered many aspects of several authors and how each one perceived the legend. One particular author that struck my favor was Sir Thomas Malory, especially in his book, Le Morte D'Arthur. Although, as a class assignment, I only read one particular section of the novel, which was the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot, I can honestly say I have a strong favor and opinion towards Malory's depiction of that portion of the legend. The relationship between Guinevere and Lancelot is inevitably one that leads to adultery, which affects Arthur in a way that one can discover his true feelings about his Round Table, oddly enough. Since Lancelot was one of Arthur's strongest and most reliable knights in the hood, Arthur feels more betrayed by Lancelot's decision to act on his feelings towards Guinevere than he does by Guinevere who had more control over the situation in my opinion. In his own words, Arthur states his bond with the knighthood and how Lancelot's affair with Guinevere affects the Round Table by saying, "And much more am I sorrier for my good knights' loss than for the loss of my faire queen; for queens I might have enough, but such a fellowship of good knights shall never be together in no company (Malory, 482)."
Arthur's hardship over this love affair really brings to life his emotional level and how most of his emotion lies in the sorrows he has for his Round Table. It seems as if he is astonished that a noble knight with such great power could ever go against his own king the way Lancelot did to him. It was as if Arthur gave him all the goodness and glory a shining knight could ask for, and betrayal was his reward.
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By Jake Norris on Feb. 10 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was a very intriguing book. I felt it had very little description used throughout the book, the plot lines were so complexed that they got to point where it was impossible to follow them. Then characters just seemed to come and go throughout the book, sometimes their name was not mentioned for three or four chapters and the bam all the sudden it is like they were there the whole time, but yet it was still so interesting.
Mallory did an excellent job just describing the scenery and the daily activities that occurred around the castle. When he tried to describe the feelings or justify the acts of the characters is when the book got too confusing. The way he wrote this book really makes it seem like a legend; the castle is so grand, the people are so happy, the villains are so evil, and the knights are so incredibly strong.
My favorite part of the book was at the very beginning when Arthur went to get Excalaber. Mallory described the scenery and the actions with such vivid description it was so easy to get the gist of what was going on. He even throws in some supernatural elements to make this excerpt even more interesting. There was the mystical lady of the lake that could not be seen; all Arthur saw of her was her hand holding Excalaber above the water, and then the fact that Excalaber was just a normal sword and that the scabbard is what was truly magical. Woah this guy threw so many twists and turns in there.
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