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Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
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Le Morte d'Arthur (1485)

by Sir Thomas Malory

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4,534361,059 (3.88)89
  1. 40
    The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck (caflores)
  2. 00
    Tristan: With the Surviving Fragments of the 'Tristan of Thomas' by Gottfried von Strassburg (Shuffy2)
    Shuffy2: See the similarities between the two love triangles of King Arthur, Lancelot, and Guenevere AND King Mark, Isolde, and Tristan
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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I know Le Mort d'Arthur is supposed to be a great classic and the definitive Arthur, but damn it, I'm 377 pages in and I can't do it anymore. It is just too much of the same flipping story over and over and over and over again. And not just the same story (knight jousts with knight), but almost the same exact wording with each battle.

The only thing to have sparked my interest in about 200 pages was this line: "The King Arthur overtook her [a false lady and sorceress], and with the same sword he smite off her head, and the Lady of the Lake took up her head and hung it up by the hair to her saddle-bow." THAT is pretty damn awesome, but it's also just one line out of all those 200 pages, and it made me long for a Lady of the Lake story, not more and more of these knights smacking each other around and talking about how knightly and courtly they are because they are big strong men who can politely knock another guy off a horse.

I am so wonderfully wroth at this book that I'm about to come at all of these damn knights like thunder and smote them down with their own damn lances. (PS. If I never see the words "wroth", "smote", or "came together like thunder" again, it will be too soon.) Seriously, don't these guys have anything better to do than run around the forests or hang out a bridges and joust with each other? Isn't there farming or something to be done? Anything? Please? I mean, I'll read about the wheat in the fields at this point.

Did I also mention that it's over 900 pages? Well, it is, and apparently this is the SHORT version. The other version is in like three volumes or something. Since it's getting the point that I'm starting to hate Arthur and his knights, I need to just put in the towel and read something — anything — else for a while.

Right now, I'm really looking forward to rereading Simon Armitag's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, because I need something to remind me why I used to love Arthurian stories so much. ( )
2 vote andreablythe | Nov 6, 2013 |
An attempt of making a virtually unreadable medieval manuscript into a modern graphic novel, fails on a number of counts for me. I didn't like the art, which I found to be too basic. I also thought that the plot was poorly explained & the medium of graphic art hardly explained the story nor allowed adequate delineation between the characters, so at times I found it difficult to work out who was what & what had just happened. For the Arthurian completist, this might be a find, for the occasional dweller in this world, it's probably worth missing. ( )
  aadyer | Oct 10, 2013 |
I agree with the reviewer who said this is not for the faint of heart, and few general readers are going to find this a great read. If you're looking for an absorbing, entertaining read with characters you can relate to and root for, you're absolutely, positively in the wrong place. Read instead Arthurian novels such as T.H. White's The Once and Future King or Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. There are countless other such novels inspired by this material worth reading, and I've read a lot of them.

But I did find it interesting at times going through this, one of the ur-texts as it were of Arthurian legend. There are other, earlier works of Arthurian literature: Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain (1136), Chrétien de Troyes's Arthurian Romances in the 12th century and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival in the 13th century are among the most notable. But Malory drew from several sources, so much so he's often described more as the "compiler" than the author of the work. I own a edition in two volumes that comes close to 1,000 pages. So this is an exhaustive resource of all sorts of facets of the legend. The story of Tristram and Iseult is here, for instance.

And this is a medieval work, so it's imbued with its assumptions and attitudes. Obviously a source of outrage to some reviewers, and even by the standards of the time, comparing this to how women are treated in say Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales--well, women don't come off well here. Misogyny abounds. And knights are held up as paragons who commit a lot of heinous acts and just plain WTF. A lot is repetitive and a slog--as one reviewer put it too much is "joust, joust, joust." And this was written about half-way between Chaucer and Shakespeare. With the spelling regularized it's quite readable, much more so than unmodernized Chaucer. But with those that choose to preserve the archaic words, that means wading through words such as "hight" (is called) and "mickle" (much). And there's just so much that can be excused by, well, "it's the times"--I found plenty of medieval writers who were wonderful reads, and just plain more humane: Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer. I can't see Malory as their equal--not remotely. But as a fan of Arthurian literature and someone fascinated by the Middle Ages, this did from time to time have its fascinations. ( )
2 vote LisaMaria_C | Sep 25, 2013 |
"The Beast with the Hair on". The spelling is regularized but that's the only concession made to the modern reader. The Tales are unorganized, but that's part of the fun. Also we should consider that Malory's organization differs from our personal one because he was writing for his own time. A great read, which rewards rereading. I know Ive been back to it several times. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 22, 2013 |
While I absolutely love Malory's finely woven tale, I felt as if there were A) way too many knights to keep up with (in name mentioning, not neccessarily plot-central knights) and B) not enough details (Why is Gwynevere such a hoe? Why does Launcelot only care for worldly fame? Why is King Arthur such a tool?) But, alas, twas not the style of writing at that time.



On the onther hand, this book was an abosultely fantastic read. An excellent tale (correction, excellent tales) of King Arthur and his fellow knights of the Round Table.
  Melumebelle | Aug 8, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (67 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Thomas Maloryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baines, KeithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beardsley, AubreyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryan, Elizabeth J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooper, HelenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cowen, JanetEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, Anna-MarieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Field, P.J.C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furguson, Anna-MarieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibbings, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodrich, Norma LorreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lumiansky, Robert M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollard, Alfred W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vinaver, EugèneEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Anna
To Frances Strachey
Her father inscribes this book
the introduction to which
could not have been now re-written
without her help
in making the ear familiar with words
which the eye can no longer read.
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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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451528166, Mass Market Paperback)

From the incredible wizardry of Merlin to the undeniable passion of Sir Launcelot, these tales of Arthur and his knights offer epic adventures with the supernatural-as well as timeless battles with our own humanity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Presents the epic story of King Arthur, the wizard Merlin, his Knights of the Round Table, the sword Excalibur, and his tragic and poetic death, in a prose translation of the classic legend, featuring an introduction by acclaimed poet Robert Graves.

» see all 7 descriptions

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140430431, 014043044X

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