The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Malory

The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Malory

P.J.C. Field


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Sifting of clues reveals a convincing identity for Malory, here unmasked and set in historical context.
`A tour de force of historical scholarship and detective work... so good it sets the mind racing.' LITERARY REVIEW [Frank McLynn, 08/93]
Malory's stories of King Arthur and the Round Table have been widely read for centuries, but their author's own life has been as variously reported as that of any Arthurian knight. The first serious attempts to identify him were made in the 1890s, but the man who then seemed most likely to have written the book was later found to have been accused of attempted murder, rape, extortion, and sacrilegious robbery and to have spent ten years or more in prison. Could this be reconciled with the authorship of the most famous chivalric romance in English? Other candidates for authorship were proposed but there was little consensus.
This book gives the most comprehensive consideration of the competing arguments yet undertaken. It is a fascinating piece of detective work followed by a full account of the life of the man identified as theMalory. Close consideration of individual documents, many of which were entirely unknown in 1966, when the last book on Malory's life appeared, makes possible a fuller and more convincing story than has ever been told before.
P.J.C. FIELDis Reader in the Department of English at the University of Wales, Bangor.

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230 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
Paperback, 9780859915663, November 1999
Hardback, 9780859913850, May 1993
Library eBook
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A tour de force of historical scholarship and detective work... so good it sets the mind racing. LITERARY REVIEW [Frank McLynn, 08/93]Peter Field's book, with its clear demonstration that we know of only one Thomas Malory who was both a knight and a prisoner in mid-15th century England, must settle many issues of biography... detached, painstaking, and blessedly unsentimental. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS [Tom Shippey, 17/2/94] Dr Field is a notable authority on Malory... this book does valuable service in pulling all the evidence together. This analysis of the life of a minor knightly figure reveals much about fifteenth-century society. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT [Michael Prestwich, 16/09/94]A volume [of] immense scholarship... All readers of Malory will remain indebted to Professor Field for his achievement in contributing to the fleshing-out of this most enigmatic, yet vital, figure of the late middle ages. RICARDIAN [Carol Meale]Essential reading... he has done a splendid job of convincingly identifying the author of Morte Darthur. ANGLIA

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