Cover: Malory's <i>Morte Darthur</i>, from Harvard University PressCover: Malory's <i>Morte Darthur</i> in E-DITION

Malory's Morte Darthur

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674733589

Publication Date: 01/01/1976

289 pages


Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur has delighted readers of English literature for over five hundred years and has shaped our images of chivalry, of knight-errantry, of adventure in King Arthur’s time, of courtly love. In the past three decades literary critics have shown Malory to be an artist of skill and imagination, worthy of careful study as well as general popularity. One of the prices we have paid for this critical attention, Larry Benson argues, is an increasingly gloomy interpretation, so that what seemed a joyous celebration of Arthurian chivalry has become a dark, even “existential” tragedy. He here reestablishes the work as a chivalric romance by examining it against the background of fifteenth-century knighthood and literary traditions.

Benson relates the Morte Darthur to the Arthurian prose cycles as they developed in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries and to the English romance tradition. He is able to trace Malory’s general development as a writer by showing the ways in which he applies his narrative techniques with increasing skill from the early tales to his first completely successful works, The Tale of Sir Gareth and The Book of Sir Tristram. His research into chivalric practices in the fifteenth century reveal that Malory was a much more realistic writer than is generally thought. Benson tells his story in a most readable style.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, by Peter Wilson, from Harvard University Press

A Lesson in German Military History with Peter Wilson

In his landmark book Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, acclaimed historian Peter H. Wilson offers a masterful reappraisal of German militarism and warfighting over the last five centuries, leading to the rise of Prussia and the world wars. Below, Wilson answers our questions about this complex history,