Arguably no medieval English literary work has had as far and wide a reach as Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur; among the many adaptations are Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, and the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot. It might also be argued that the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century tradition of fantasy literature—from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to George Lucas’s Star Wars and beyond—owes much to the Arthurian tradition, rooted in English most strongly in Malory’s Morte Darthur. Yet there has been no edition that draws on the results of the past generation’s scholarship while presenting Malory’s work in a form that is at once true to the original and accessible to the modern reader.
This new edition, which expands on the revised and expanded selection of Malory material that will be included in the third edition of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, is all of those things. The extensive selections include most of the material concerning Launcelot, and all of the Morte’s two final tales; the language has been partially modernized to make the text accessible to the modern reader, while retaining the flavor of the original; the text has been carefully prepared from the Winchester manuscript; and the annotations are extensive.
“I am most impressed with the elegant selection and presentation of Malory’s great romance in this new edition. A great deal is cut, for students and general readers who do not have time to read the whole. But everything truly essential is here, with a proper emphasis on Malory’s women, who have fascinated readers since the Victorian era. This will be the edition of choice not only for literary surveys and introductory medieval courses but also for courses in Arthurian literature and in the history of romance and fantasy. I highly recommend this book.” — Nicholas Watson, Harvard University
“The new introduction to Malory for The Broadview Anthology of British Literature is excellent. The discussion of textual issues is helpful, and the annotations to the text itself are very well done.” — Alex Mueller, University of Massachusetts, Boston