Sir Thomas Malory

Sir Thomas Malory

Sir Thomas Malory (c.1405—March 14, 1471), whose surname appears in various spellings, including "Maillorie" and "Maleore," was the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur. His name comes from the Old French adjective maleuré (from Latin male auguratus), meaning ill-omened or unfortunate.

Few facts are certain in Malory's history. It is believed that he was knighted in 1442 and entered the English Parliament representing Warwickshire in 1445. In 1450, it appears that he turned towards a life of crime, being accused of murder, robbery, stealing, poaching, and rape. However, the validity of these charges are the subject of much controversy given Malory's unclear political affiliations. False charges were common amidst the political strife of the Wars of the Roses.

Malory is believed to have obtained the material for his work from many French sources in addition to earlier English Arthurian Romances, most notably the stanzaic Morte Arthur and the alliterative Morte Arthure. Le Morte D'Arthur brought together the various strands of the legend in a prose romance which many critics reckon the best of its kind. Some claim it to have the status of "the first recognizable novel.

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Le Morte d'Arthur
Signet Classics
by Sir Thomas Mallory
from Signet Classics
for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$7.95