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Tuesday, April 5th 2011, 10:11pm

Le Morte d'Arthur

Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur - the novel

Le Morte D'Arthur is the first true novel written in English. A moving tale of love and betrayal, and quests inspired by noble ideals amidst the turmoil of an age on the threshold of profound change, the essence of Sir Thomas Malory's timeless masterpiece has remained firmly in the imagination of successive generations. This monumental work of fiction deserves not only to grace the bookshelf of every lover of literature but to be read and appreciated from cover to cover. Le Morte d'Arthur in context: Arthurian legend

In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, Arthurian Legend is flourishing more than ever, after over a thousand years of development in literature and in our collective imagination. Whatever the factual origins of King Arthur (if any), he and the Knights of Camelot passed into popular legend from the early Middle Ages. And as the field of European literature developed - British and French, especially - so did versions and variations on the Arthurian tale, proliferating both in books and in poetry. Today, Arthurian legend is understood for what it is - just legend - and King Arthur and his knights are enjoyed as imaginary figures rather than ones based on historical fact.

The romantic concepts of chivalry and heroic quest, in an age of religious purity and secular glory, provided a perfect platform for writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth and the poets Wace, Chrétien de Troyes, and Layamon. In the French court - the most powerful in Europe at the time - King Arthur's popularity was intense, and the French felt an empathy for Arthur perhaps because, even though a Briton, he was regarded as a fellow Celt and was seen as a powerful metaphor for defiance against the invading Saxon hordes. In Britain, King Arthur's development from his mystic origins into a patriotic symbol grew stronger, especially after the publication of the (English) poet Layamon's translation of (the French poet) Wace's version of Arthur as a historical figure, which itself was based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's "The History of the Kings of Britain" ('Historia Regum Britanniae', c.1135).

So the Arthurian Legend continued to grow, spurred on by popular sentiment and imagination on both sides of the Channel, but it was works such as 'Le Conte del Graal' (Chrétien de Troyes, in France, c.1191) - marking the first appearance of the Holy Grail (the Sangreal) and the Grail King - and the 'Vulgate Cycle' (c.1215 - 1235) - highlighting the importance of Sir Lancelot and his love for Queen Guinevere as the ultimate cause of the downfall of Camelot - that provided the starting point for most future versions of Arthurian Legend.

By the beginning of the 13th Century, the myths surrounding Arthur and his Knights were becoming considerably expanded by writers and poets who adopted the theme of Arthurian Legend to elaborate issues the the day. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were also linked to actual locations such as Glastonbury and Tintagel, and a connection with the Holy Land and the Crusades interwove the concepts of a rescue of the Grail with that of purge of the "heathen occupation" of Jerusalem - a sort of divine justification for the barbarism of the Crusades. Thus, Arthurian Legend was adapted by the mood of the time into propaganda for the preservation of Christianity, and Arthur was transformed from Celtic warlord into a true Christian hero (not to mention the fact that any historical basis for the life of an English King called Arthur was probably obscured for all time).

As the Middle Ages progressed, so did Arthurian Legend, and over the centuries, poets and writers gave new or comparatively minor characters Arthurian tales of their own. The King Arthur concept was also adapted to fit localised issues and literary styles, and in the process was diluted, and lost some of it's original "high romance". This apparently appealed to Geoffrey Chaucer, who remarked in The Canterbury Tales something to the effect that stories and poems about Sir Lancelot had become little more than romantic fantasies for the titillation of court ladies. Le Morte d'Arthur

The Noble and Joyous Book entitled:


Notwithstanding it treateth of the birth, life, and acts of the said King Arthur, of his noble Knights of the round table, their marvelous inquests, and adventures, the achieving of the sangreal, and in the end, the dolorous and departing out of this world of them all, which book, reduced to English by:

Sir Thomas Malory Knight

The Arthurian Legend which today towers above all others is enshrined in Le Morte d'Arthur written by Sir Thomas Malory and completed in 1470. This epic story, culminating with the death of King Arthur, is based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's much earlier one, but Malory introduces elements already popularised by the Romance-writers, and brings in other Arthur-related stories from elsewhere on the continent. So for the first time, 'The Sword in the Stone', 'The Round Table', 'The Quest of the Holy Grail', the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere, and the tale of Tristram and Iseult (the most romantic of all that Malory tells, and a prelude to the final tragedy of King Arthur), are all brought into one more-or-less coherent single narrative.

Thomas Malory was, by all accounts, a rogue, as well as a (now) distinguished author. His rampant criminality (cattle rustling, ambush with intent to murder, robbery, extortion, rape, insulting an Abbot, etc) is why he spent significant parts of his life in prison, and were it not for the length of his final prison term we may not have Le Morte d'Arthur at all, because it was then, in prison, that he wrote its 507 chapters and more than 300,000 words.

Malory originally wrote Le Morte d'Arthur as eight books, or "tales".

In brief, the first tale tells of Merlin (the wizard) arranging for Uther Pendragon's seduction and marriage to Igraine, leading to the birth of Arthur, his fosterage, his pulling out of The Sword of the Stone, and his crowning. The second deals with the establishment of the Round Table and the invasion of France and Rome - Arthur the Emperor, in heroic mode. The third tale largely concerns Lancelot, who deals with Méléagant's (or Meliagaunce) threat to Arthur's world, and proves his devotion to Guinevere. The fourth tale is of Gareth, Gawaint's brother, and is supposedly based on a lost English poem. The fifth tale is about Tristram and Iseult, and originates outside the world of King Arthur and his Knights. The sixth tale is about the "coming of the Grail" - in his version of the Sangreal, Malory adapts the Christian mysticism of the French 'Quest del Saint Graal' and inflates the importance of Lancelot, who is recognised as a Grail Knight. The seventh tale is the romance between Lancelot and Guinevere, and is largely based on the French 'Mort Artu'. It foreshadows the final destruction of the "Arthurian fellowship". The last and eighth tale concerns the discovery of Lancelot and Guinevere's ongoing adultery, the battle between Modred and Arthur, and Arthur's ultimate death.

Whilst consistency and harmony aren't always prevalent in Malory's epic work, he nonetheless provides a basic vessel within which a body of other related concepts and tales are fairly well contained, and could be superficially characterised like this:

The central figure was King Arthur, a noble hero around whom were gathered the equally noble Knights of the Round Table - the most valorous Knights (including the sinner-hero Lancelot) in history - and the fair ladies of Camelot, worthy of the highest acts of chivalry. The Knights variously performed great deeds and embarked on a number of virtuous and romantic "quests", including the supreme 'Quest for the Holy Grail'. King Arthur was a figure of enigma whose life had a mysterious beginning and a mysterious end. His guardian and advisor in the early days of his kingdom was Merlin the wizard, whose predictions continued to influence the course of the story. King Arthur fought many battles but was ultimately betrayed by those close to him: his sister, son, wife, and friend, causing his inevitable downfall at his last great battle.

Tiberius Leodegan


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Tuesday, April 19th 2011, 9:39pm

nycc musik.. :thumbup:
Too Many Scottsmen.......................................................Spoil d SB..



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Sunday, May 29th 2011, 9:06am

aa cannae heer eeny musik... eet sys dat Fyrfox neidsa plugin whit eet canae fyned :cursing: :cursing: :cursing:


Sunday, June 10th 2012, 4:53pm



Cool story bro.


Thursday, May 23rd 2013, 7:20pm

The music was so good, very articulate article content. vote! Vote
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