The Morte Darthur:A Collection of Early-Nineteenth-Century Editions

1st Edition

Yuri Fuwa

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Published April 1, 2017
Reference - 3250 Pages
ISBN 9784902454413 - CAT# Y336605

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This is a 7 volume facsimile reprint collection of three important but ‘difficult to find’ editions of The Morte Darthur by Thomas Malory, two published in 1816, one in 1817. The three editions marked the revival of Medievalism in the Romantic era, and played an important role for the Romantic poets to ‘discover’ the richness of the medieval literature which was followed by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the middle of the century.

The edition in volumes 1-2 was the landmark of this literary movement. The Morte Darthur was published for the first time in nearly two centuries since William Stansby’s 1634 edition. They were small pocket size books (enlarged by 140% in this facsimile) and very popular among literary figures as such John Keats, William Wordsworth and Leigh Hunt.

Volumes 3-5 include another pocket book edition (also enlarged by 140% in this collection) originally published in the same year, 1634, and particularly valuable as an example of a ‘bowdlerized’ edition of Thomas Malory’s text. It is known that Alfred Tennyson learned of The Morte Darthur from this book.

The edition in volumes 6-7 (reprinted in the original quarto size) is the first Malory text scholarly edited, and is considered to be the most important contribution to the academic publishing history of The Morte Darthur. Based on William Caxton’s edition of 1485, the editor Robert Southey added a long introduction and detailed annotations which provided the medievalist with a valuable source for research. It also influenced such Pre-Raphaelists as William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.

Accompanied with a new bibliographic study in English by Yuri Fuwa, this facsimile collection of the three different editions of The Morte Darthur which are all rare in the antiquarian book market, should be in any academic libraries with courses of English literature.

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