Thomas Malory, Knight
|Also Known As:||"Thomas Maleore", "Mallory", "Mallore"|
|Birthplace:||Newbold Revel, Warwickshire, England|
|Death:||Died in London, England|
|Managed by:||Jason Scott Wills|
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About Sir Thomas Malory, of Newbold Revel
This is BY FAR the most likely person to have authored the Morte d'Arthur, despite (or perhaps because of) a chequered and sometimes lurid career.
Author of the most famous and influential prose version of the legends of King Arthur, about whom little personal information is known. The title, "Le Morte D'arthur," is taken from the epilogue of William Caxton's landmark illustrated edition of 1485. The epilogue tells us that "this book was ended the ninth year of the reign of King Edward the Fourth (either 1469 or 1470), by Sir Thomas Maleore (one of the variant spellings of Malory), knight."
"Le Morte Darthur" was written in English and consists of eight tales in 507 chapters in 21 books, so arranged by Caxton, for clarity of understanding. It is the basis of most modern tellings of the Arthurian story and was the inspiration for Tennyson's "Idylls of the King."
Early in the text of "Le Morte Darthur", the author refers to himself as a knight-prisoner. In reaction to this statement, it has been suggested that perhaps some or all of "Le Morte Darthur" was written while Malory was in prison. Certainties about Malory's life are few, although there has been some intelligent speculation centering around a Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire. This knight had some difficulties with a local priory (and possibly some misadventures caused by the swirling tides of Lancastrian-Yorkist politics) resulting in a period of imprisonment (there are records confirming several periods of confinement for Malory in London's Newgate Prison).
Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire "was born into a gentry family that had lived for centuries in the English Midlands near the point where Warwickshire, Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire meet. His father, John Malory, was an esquire with land in all three counties, but was primarily a Warwickshire man, being twice sheriff, five times M.P. and for many years a justice of the peace for that county. John married Philippa Chetwynd... and they had at least three daughters, and one son, Thomas, who was probably born within a year either way of 1416" - The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Malory, PJC Field.