Castles and Space in Malory's Morte Darthur

February 2019
8 black and white illustrations
305 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9781843845270
Format: Hardback

Castles and Space in Malory's Morte Darthur

Molly A. Martin

First full-length study of these crucial buildings in the Morte, looking at the interplay between characters and space.
Castles play an integral part in Malory's Morte Darthur; Camelot, Tintagel, Joyous Gard, and Dover, for example, are the crucial backdrop to the action and both host and shape the story as it moves through them. But despite this, Malory's castles have received limited scholarly attention. As the first monograph to look extensively at either castles or space in Malory, this book aims to fill that gap. It reads the Morte through its castles - their architecture, structural and symbolic significance, and geographical locations, together with their political, communal, ritual, domestic, and martial functions. The book also traces the mutual development of space and identity in the text, looking at Malory's Arthurian community in and around castle space, both as individuals and as a group; for example, it considers Arthur's political success through his use of space, and shows how crucial Camelot and its hall are to the fellowship of knights. Overall, the volume suggests a better understanding of the community's central organising body, the Round Table, and offers important re-readings of a number of episodes and characters.

MOLLY A. MARTIN is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Indianapolis.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Into the Castle
Castles as Political Centers
Castles and Community Identity
Castles and Ritual
Castles and the Domestic Sphere
Castles as Prisons
Castles at War
Afterword: Beyond the Castle Gate

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