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King Arthur and His Knights: Selected Tales

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Thomas Malory, knight, adventurer, and soldier, was born in the early years of the fifteenth century and died on March 14, 1471, having spent much of the last twenty years of his life in prison. It was there that he wrote most, if not all, of his works, completing the last in about 1470. Some fifteen years later William Caxton published the entire collection of his tales i Thomas Malory, knight, adventurer, and soldier, was born in the early years of the fifteenth century and died on March 14, 1471, having spent much of the last twenty years of his life in prison. It was there that he wrote most, if not all, of his works, completing the last in about 1470. Some fifteen years later William Caxton published the entire collection of his tales in one volume, "Le Morte Darthur."


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Thomas Malory, knight, adventurer, and soldier, was born in the early years of the fifteenth century and died on March 14, 1471, having spent much of the last twenty years of his life in prison. It was there that he wrote most, if not all, of his works, completing the last in about 1470. Some fifteen years later William Caxton published the entire collection of his tales i Thomas Malory, knight, adventurer, and soldier, was born in the early years of the fifteenth century and died on March 14, 1471, having spent much of the last twenty years of his life in prison. It was there that he wrote most, if not all, of his works, completing the last in about 1470. Some fifteen years later William Caxton published the entire collection of his tales in one volume, "Le Morte Darthur."

30 review for King Arthur and His Knights: Selected Tales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Adderley

    This is Malory's Le Morte Darthur, but separated into separate stories and, in the case of one tale (The Knight of the Cart) actually re-located to a different point in the story. The Grail story is so heavily abridged that it would be incomprehensible to someone who hadn't already read the Morte. There are much better texts of Malory thann this! This is Malory's Le Morte Darthur, but separated into separate stories and, in the case of one tale (The Knight of the Cart) actually re-located to a different point in the story. The Grail story is so heavily abridged that it would be incomprehensible to someone who hadn't already read the Morte. There are much better texts of Malory thann this!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Overton

    Sir Thomas Malory (d. 1471) spent much of his final 20 years in prison. During those decades he translated into English and rewrote the French Arthurian romances. Stories of Grail quests, lovelorn knights, and the Round Table had been wildly popular literature in the 12th and 13th centuries. Eugene Vinaver writes in the 'Introduction' that Malory was 'a man bred up in arms who valued the dignity of knighthood above all else. Most of his knights are men of brief speech and unsophisticated behaviou Sir Thomas Malory (d. 1471) spent much of his final 20 years in prison. During those decades he translated into English and rewrote the French Arthurian romances. Stories of Grail quests, lovelorn knights, and the Round Table had been wildly popular literature in the 12th and 13th centuries. Eugene Vinaver writes in the 'Introduction' that Malory was 'a man bred up in arms who valued the dignity of knighthood above all else. Most of his knights are men of brief speech and unsophisticated behaviour. They engage in extraordinary adventures, but their motives admit of no sentimental refinement; they are first and foremost men of action.... [They live in:] a world where vice is punished and injured men redress with their own hands the wrongs done to their honour.' (xv) From the story "The Poisoned Apple": Queen Guinevere, accused of adultery, is about to be burned at the stake because no knight will fight in her defense. Her guilt or innocence is to be determined by the winning knight. If her champion wins, she will be proved innocent. If Sir Mador, her accuser, wins then she is guilty and will die. Suddenly a disguised knight (Sir Lancelot, her lover) "came from a wood there ... driving all that his horse might run." (123) The two knights battle. "And then they rode to the lists' end, and there they couched their spears and ran together with all their mights. And anon Sir Mador's spear brake all to pieces, but the other's spear held and bare Sir Mador's horse and all backwards to the earth a great fall. But mightily and deliverly he avoided his horse from him [freed himself from his horse:] and put his shield before him and drew his sword and bade the other knight alight and do battle with him on foot. "Then that knight descended down from his horse and put his shield before him and drew his sword. And so they came eagerly unto battle, and either gave other many sad [heavy:] strokes, tracing and traversing and foining together with their swords as it were wild boars, thus fighting nigh an hour; for this Sir Mador was a strong knight .... But at the last this knight smote Sir Mador grovelling upon the earth, and the knight stepped near him to have pulled Sir Mador flatling upon the ground; and therewith Sir Mador arose, and in his rising he smote that knight through the thick of the thighs, that the blood brast out fiercely. "And when he felt himself so wounded and saw his blood, he let him arise upon his feet, and then he gave him such a buffet upon the helm that he fell to the earth flatling. And therewith he strode to him to have pulled off his helm off his head. And so Sir Mador prayed that knight to save his life. And so he yielded him as overcome, and released the queen of his quarrel [accusation:]." (124-5)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Taylor

    Enjoyable classic filled with romantic knighting and honorable deeds.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mahdi Abdulaziz

    Brilliant story

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nebuchanezer

    As much as i wanted to enjoy this book, i found it mostly to be very repetitive. The majority of the book seems to consist of good knight sees damsel in distress from bad knight, knights fight, good knight wins repeat ad infinitum. Only the improvement towards the end (quest for the Holy Grail onwards) saved this book from being truly dull

  6. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve

    Ok, ok, I know this is classic literature but I just could not get myself through it. I can only take so much of nobility having their honor offended and self righteously smiting each other down. Which, by the way, does not always mean they die. At least I learned that much. Maybe I'll try it again at a later point in my life. Ok, ok, I know this is classic literature but I just could not get myself through it. I can only take so much of nobility having their honor offended and self righteously smiting each other down. Which, by the way, does not always mean they die. At least I learned that much. Maybe I'll try it again at a later point in my life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    This was a fun read. It wasn't what I was expecting; there wasn't much Arthur and it needed more Merlin. He was hardly present at all, just briefly in the beginning. There must be other stories or books with more Merlin because there didn't seem to be enough here to account for all the stories behind him. Still, I enjoyed it. This was a fun read. It wasn't what I was expecting; there wasn't much Arthur and it needed more Merlin. He was hardly present at all, just briefly in the beginning. There must be other stories or books with more Merlin because there didn't seem to be enough here to account for all the stories behind him. Still, I enjoyed it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anilecia

    I understand how people could have trouble reading this book. I almost put it down after the first couple of stories because it was incredibly boring, but those are the tales of secondary character knights (Sir Galahad, etc.). Once you get to the stories of principal characters, it becomes much more interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J Michael

    Lots of killing and jousting My expectation of this book was much different than what I discovered. Mostly each chapter is about how individual knights jousted with and/or killed competitors. There is scant mention of King Arthur until the end, but nothing mentioned of how he reigned over the English realm.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was not my favorite. I can't figure out if it was the language or just that I thought the stories were toned down from the French original. It is interesting though the differences that were made between this one and The Death of King Arthur. This was not my favorite. I can't figure out if it was the language or just that I thought the stories were toned down from the French original. It is interesting though the differences that were made between this one and The Death of King Arthur.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I was amazed at how often everyone "smote" one another. I like the Arthur stories, but it can be a bit repetitive after a while. A lot of damsels wandering through the forest and then of course the "smiting". I was amazed at how often everyone "smote" one another. I like the Arthur stories, but it can be a bit repetitive after a while. A lot of damsels wandering through the forest and then of course the "smiting".

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Hey, it's the Malster. The Malster! King Arthur and his knights. Chivalry! Maidens in distress! Magic! Wizards! What else do you need? Classic! Hey, it's the Malster. The Malster! King Arthur and his knights. Chivalry! Maidens in distress! Magic! Wizards! What else do you need? Classic!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kyrie

    Required reading about King Arthur didn't feel like required reading. I enjoy the stories and this is one of the earlier compiled versions, I think. Required reading about King Arthur didn't feel like required reading. I enjoy the stories and this is one of the earlier compiled versions, I think.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ami Samsuri

    I did not like this at all. too much jousting and slaying and knighting and too less emotion. Are knights supposed to be hot-tempered and without a conscience?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristi-Joy

    I am really glad to be familiar with the original English-language Arthur myths. However, they were not what I was expecting. Still, well worth reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mcnair

    As a little girl, my dad would read to me from this book. I have find memories of the stories of King Arthur and his knights.

  17. 5 out of 5

    J.R. Dodson

    And so anon, good Christian rough boys smote-eth many a maiden and false knight over and over and over again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nonethousand Oberrhein

    Just a glimpse of knighthood The revised (with modernized syntax) text of Sir Malory still has the power to transport any reader to the world of errant knights, damsels in distress, and incredible portents. However, as the myth unfolds page after page, the presence of Editor R.T. Davies, arbitrary selecting excerpts and cutting out five sixth (as declared in the Introduction) of the original work, becomes cumbersome and somewhat annoying when entire secondary quests are redacted and summarized in Just a glimpse of knighthood The revised (with modernized syntax) text of Sir Malory still has the power to transport any reader to the world of errant knights, damsels in distress, and incredible portents. However, as the myth unfolds page after page, the presence of Editor R.T. Davies, arbitrary selecting excerpts and cutting out five sixth (as declared in the Introduction) of the original work, becomes cumbersome and somewhat annoying when entire secondary quests are redacted and summarized in unfulfilling notes a couple of lines long. While understanding the Editor’s goal to keep the reader focused on the most notorious arthurian characters, the errant knights ethusiasts are left longing for more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kameron Nettleton

    This is a bit of a tough thing to really review, as it contains many different stories related to the Arthurian legend. However, on the whole, I did really enjoy it. I was surprised, actually, by how little had to do with Arthur and Merlin; maybe this is because I was not well-verse in the mythos beforehand, but it does seem like Arthur is a bit player for most of the stories. However the last story is unbelievably gripping. The conflict between Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain, and Mordred is really, r This is a bit of a tough thing to really review, as it contains many different stories related to the Arthurian legend. However, on the whole, I did really enjoy it. I was surprised, actually, by how little had to do with Arthur and Merlin; maybe this is because I was not well-verse in the mythos beforehand, but it does seem like Arthur is a bit player for most of the stories. However the last story is unbelievably gripping. The conflict between Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain, and Mordred is really, really intriguing. A very tough read even for a supposed English expert; would've preferred this be cleaned up even more than it was by the editor, but I guess I appreciate the desire to be as true to Malory's original work as possible.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jadie

    Took a minute to get used to ye olde English, but it started to settle in about halfway into this selection. The best, by far, was the final tale broken into 5 chapters (The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Guerdon), though I may have simply liked it best because of the continuity. Overall old Arthurian tales are a bit romantic, tragic and dramatic in ways I don't totally care for. Not one king or knight seems to hold by rules of nobility or knighthood, yet there is a clear distinctio Took a minute to get used to ye olde English, but it started to settle in about halfway into this selection. The best, by far, was the final tale broken into 5 chapters (The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Guerdon), though I may have simply liked it best because of the continuity. Overall old Arthurian tales are a bit romantic, tragic and dramatic in ways I don't totally care for. Not one king or knight seems to hold by rules of nobility or knighthood, yet there is a clear distinction for knights who are good vs evil which is tiresome in Arthurian literature. Good enough to keep my attention, but I'm excited to move on.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    King Arthur was something I was aware of, and I had always thought it was very noteworthy. King Arthur is good, but after the first 5-7 chapters, it begun to be repetitive. Someone is in need of aid, the knights are humble, so many nobility and chivalry, and after the deed is done, its the same over and over. You could probably get the gist after the first chapters what King Arthur was like. Some of the tales were interesting, but repetition was a big thing that happened.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

    I finally read the iconic leyend (some of the poems at least) and it was marvelous. This specific edition is all about king Arthur, i mean, Lancelot and Guinevere remain as minor characters in this book, and I suppose that's the reason why I didn't love this read AS MUCH as I hoped, I'm more interested in the romance between Guinevere and Lancelot than the legend of King Arthur itself. (and the lady of shalott ... dying to read it!) But still it was marvelous. I finally read the iconic leyend (some of the poems at least) and it was marvelous. This specific edition is all about king Arthur, i mean, Lancelot and Guinevere remain as minor characters in this book, and I suppose that's the reason why I didn't love this read AS MUCH as I hoped, I'm more interested in the romance between Guinevere and Lancelot than the legend of King Arthur itself. (and the lady of shalott ... dying to read it!) But still it was marvelous.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Dolce

    I found this book to be a total snoozefest. The old English type writing put me to sleep. Not for me. Took me forever to read and never really looked forward to finishing it. Maybe, I was to young when I read it. Today, I wouldn't give it another chance, no thank you. I found this book to be a total snoozefest. The old English type writing put me to sleep. Not for me. Took me forever to read and never really looked forward to finishing it. Maybe, I was to young when I read it. Today, I wouldn't give it another chance, no thank you.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Nice to get back to a favourite of mine from my post uni days - and this is a very good selection of the most interesting bits of Malory.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Who

    As far as Arthurian fiction goes, there are better and more readible adaptations among the modern. Notable only for the bizarre

  26. 4 out of 5

    Divya Maniar

    IS GAME OF THRONES A RIPOFF!?!?!?!?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yashmita

    I internally cried a lot reading this

  28. 5 out of 5

    Polly Llewellyn

    in red armor, in the garden

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    An oldie but a goldie. My edition has some great illustrations to go with it including the tracing paper protectors.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    The language seems simplistic, but I greatly enjoyed these stories when I was a kid. It was fun going back through these

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