Saturday, December 22, 2012

Le Mort d'Arthur - by Thomas Malory

Free US/UK Kindle Classic

Le Mort d'Arthur by English writer Thomas Malory was written by 1470. (US Edition)  (UK Edition) It is a collection of fables and legends and as with all works of such antiquity, it can't be dated precisely or much known about its writing.  We are just lucky to have the story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table passed down to us!
This is volume 1 "From the Marriage of King Uther unto King Arthur that Reigned After Him and Did Many Battles" and introduces you to King Arthur and his predecessor:
THEN within two years King Uther fell sick of a great malady. And in the meanwhile his enemies usurped upon him, and did a great battle upon his men, and slew many of his people. Sir, said Merlin, ye may not lie so as ye do, for ye must to the field though ye ride on an horse-litter: for ye shall never have the better of your enemies but if your person be there, and then shall ye have the victory. So it was done as Merlin had devised, and they carried the king forth in an horse-litter with a great host towards his enemies.
This was in the days when Kings were expected to also be warriors.
And of course it contains the famous story of King Arthur drawing the sword from the stone . . .
So at Candlemas many more great lords came thither for to have won the sword, but there might none prevail. And right as Arthur did at Christmas, he did at Candlemas, and pulled out the sword easily, whereof the barons were sore aggrieved and put it off in delay till the high feast of Easter. And as Arthur sped before, so did he at Easter; yet there were some of the great lords had indignation that Arthur should be king, and put it off in a delay till the feast of Pentecost.
So for this holiday season I send you back to a time when a "a beardless boy that was come of low blood" became King of the realm of England.
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