Malory's Contemporary Audience

Malory's Contemporary Audience

The Social Reading of Romance in Late Medieval England

Thomas H. Crofts





New readings of the Morte Darthur place both book and author within the historical and cultural context of fifteenth-century England.
This book seeks to place Malory's Morte Darthur more firmly in its cultural and historical context. Its composition, in the mid to late fifteenth century, took place at a time of great upheaval for England, a period beginning with the loss of Bordeaux (and the Hundred Years War) and ending with the rise of Richard III. During this time the Morte was translated from numerous French sources, copied by scribes, and, finally, in July 1485, printed by William Caxton. The author argues that in this unique production history are reflected the ideological crises which loomed so massively over England's ruling class in the fifteenth century; and that the book is in fact inseparable from these crises.

THOMAS H. CROFTS is Assistant Professor of English at East Tennessee State University


July 2006
4 colour illustrations
194 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9781843840855
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Thomas Howard Crofts
The Text at Hand - Thomas Howard Crofts
Caxton's Preface: Historia and Argumentum - Thomas Howard Crofts
Malory's Moral Scribes: `Balin' in the Winchester Manuscript - Thomas Howard Crofts
Usurpation, Right and Redress in Malory's `Roman War' - Thomas Howard Crofts
No Hint of the Future - Thomas Howard Crofts
Epilogue: Two Gestures of Closure - Thomas Howard Crofts


Croft's book is a stellar addition to Malory scholarship, at once erudite and insightful. MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE TEACHING

A crucial resource for scholars and advanced students working on the full meaning of Malory's compendium as social and historical text. SPECULUM
A provocative and well-written - though markedly eclectic - theoretical study which will challenge the reader to reconsider Caxton's edition, Malory's narrative, and cultural studies more generally. MEDIUM AEVUM Repays detailed reading for the many observations which similarly cause the reader to reassess previously held opinions. THE RICARDIAN, XVIII, 2008 Provocative and well written-though markedly eclectic-this new book will challenge the reader to reconsider Caxton's edition, Malory's narrative, and cultural studies more generally. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

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