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Le Morte d'Arthur Hardcover – Jul 19 1994

37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (July 19 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067960099X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679600992
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 5.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Author

There has been humour, heartbreak, and breathtaking visions, and the continuous excitement of trying to capture the beauty of Malory's scenes in watercolour. In the quietest moments, I liked to imagine ghosts roosting in my studio - from distant figures who may have existed and inspired the legend, to the storytellers, artists, and their creations that have served it. There are rewards in such good company and I feel most privileged to have contributed to a tradition so close to my heart, and served a world of such with a serrated edge. Anna Marie Ferguson --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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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 1000 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 John Rossi on May 31 2002
Format: Hardcover
Where do I begin? Watching the film Excalibur inspired me to try to track down this book. I found out shortly after that day of this edition. Boy am I glad I did. The illustrations, whether in color or black and white are absolutely beautiful and vivid. They transport you expertly in your mind to the place being depicted in the image. When I first opened this book I was reminded in a way of reading Scripture almost. This is VERY old English folks, but PLEASE do not let that deter you. It only takes a little while to get used to the wording and you can soon begin to appreciate the "flavor" of, and get lost in the world of this book. To me this is the quintessential story of ideals, one man's dream as he wanted to affect the world for the better, and the problems, trials, and triumphs in his trying to make that dream a reality. It has EVERYTHING. Chivalry, love, honor, family, friendship, conflict, malice, trust, betrayal, and spice too. There is something in here that will surely delight everyone. Just give yourself time to get used to the wording of the text. A glossary is provided for this purpose in the back of the book as well. I loved this text partly BECAUSE of the way it was written, it did not "modernize" or "dumb down" the words. The "flavor" is ancient, noble-sounding, and captivating. It MADE me want to slow down and actually READ this thing, to ABSORB the text and story, the world and the people that live in it. If STAR WARS is a trip to a galaxy far far away, this is a voyage to a past rich in ideals, ideas, and passions of the human heart and soul that seem to have grown either cold, taken for granted, or simply and quite sadly, forgotten in this modern age.
Again...please do NOT be turned off by the archaic writing style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randy Hofbauer on Nov. 14 2001
Format: Hardcover
To all Medieval History/English and Arthurian legend fans, this is the MUST!!! No holds barred, Malory touches every knight, every story, every legend to touch upon. I don't know anything about him, but Malory must've taken years to write this book... and had the greatest sources to boot. Malory starts with the story of Uther Pendragon to Arthur, his story with Excalibur and the lady of the lake, goes on to the ordination of the different knights, from the majors like Launcelot and Galahad to Bors, Gawain, Eckwalt and Percival. Through this, it goes on to tell the stories of each knight's adventure, from something as big as Galahad's visions before drinking of the Sangreal to Launcelot coming upon a church and finding a man of religion lying dead. Once in awhile, the book would even have its most comedic moments. All in all, this book is as good as if someone took every single Arthurian book out there, squeezed the best stories out and put them in a book under 1000 pages. A must for anyone who loves adventure... or has a dull life and wants to spice up their life. It's inspired my fiction writings more than any other work of fiction out there. I'd give it more than 5 stars, but the darn rating system won't let me.
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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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