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Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 1 (Le Morte d'Arthur #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,056 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Le Morte D'Arthur is Sir Thomas Malory's richly evocative and enthralling version of the Arthurian legend. Recounting Arthur's birth, his ascendancy to the throne after claiming Excalibur, his ill-fated marriage to Guenever, the treachery of Morgan le Fay and the exploits of the Knights of the Round Table, it magically weaves together adventure, battle, love and enchantmen ...more
Paperback, 489 pages
Published 1986 by Penguin Classics (first published 1485)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 10, 2008 Phillip.c.lacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read, if you like knights and stuff. The story is a metaphor for the shift in beliefs of many gods to the belief in the Christian god.

I learned that knights pretty much spend their time on quests and challenging each other at the drop of a hat. A typical example would be a conversation like this.

"I say, Sir Gallahad, the color red is above all the best color."

"I disagree, Sir Palomides, for I hold the color green to be the best."

"I challenge you then, let us joust to see o
Alexis Hall
Okay, the Morte d'Arthur is ... weird as hell but I love it because it saved my life.

Well maybe not my life.

But some part of my life.

Basically at university there was this exam where you had to analyse a bit of Medieval poetry given to you from a set selection of texts. Everyone did Pearl because it was short and the other option were insane (one of them being THE ENTIRETY of the fucking Morte).

Anyway, I hate Pearl.

It all looks the same.

And that guy has some creepy ideas about his daughter, just
Sep 21, 2009 Marie rated it it was ok
Have I read enough medieval romance to be able to judge this work with its contemporaries? I'm gonna go on a limb and say "Sorta."

There were a few frustrations with this work. First that the preface said that there is an earlier manuscript of it that they didn't use, so I'm all "Wait, why give us the later if there's an earlier? Why tell us about it just to tease us?" The translator's notes tended to be next to useless, leaving confusing words undefined and telling me for the fifth time that gul
Aug 27, 2008 Joanna rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely NOBODY. Take if off the damn English reading lists!!
Recommended to Joanna by: Princeton Review
SO INSANELY DULL and repetitive that it's curing my chronic insomnia. I'm not sure I can get through it, it's just making me so a genuine fan of King Arthur and his knights and adventures, I'm sorely disappointed in Malory. The earliest Arthurian literature is a thousand times more imaginative than this. I don't think I'll ever understand why it became an instant classic.

Nov 19, 2014 Louis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
In my opinion, the definitive version of the Arthurian legend.I have read 6 different ones and I always come back to this one.
Jun 11, 2012 Morganu rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on Arthurian literature, Thomas Malory gives us the sad ending, and by the other side the possible return of The once and the future King.
Jen B
I didn't finish. Perhaps some other time, but I found it extremely repetitive.
Jul 03, 2015 Agnieszka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Although these stories are collected into a book, this is not a novel, and it's just Part 1. On the other hand the stories are stand alone, so I think I can review it a bit.

The first part is all about King Arthur's lineage and them him consolidating his kingdom. It's not that exciting because Merlin just tells King Arthur what to do and he does it and everything goes well. Everyone does "marvelous deeds of arms" and is a "passing good knight". I don't suggest skipping it because it gets you used
John Keats
Jan 22, 2014 John Keats rated it it was amazing
Bad to start off with a lie regarding a book about honor and chivalry? I'd read this before. But it's a book that keeps on giving, in part because of the style, the broad strokes of character and story that carve out essences or habits but leave you a lot of space to muse on what people are about. Is Gawain a lout? I say yes, mostly, because when he's rushed, or confused, or outnumbered, he usually chooses the selfish or easy way out. In contrast, Launcelot never does. At this point, in Volume 1 ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 23, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading: 100 Signficiant Books
This is the first volume of Le Morte d'Arthur and shouldn't be seen as the first book of a trilogy, just the first half, and not meant to be read alone. I agree with the reviewer who said this is not for the faint of heart, and few general readers are going to find this a great read. If you're looking for an absorbing, entertaining read with characters you can relate to and root for, you're absolutely, positively in the wrong place. Read instead Arthurian novels such as T.H. White's The Once and ...more
Marisa Mills
Sep 27, 2011 Marisa Mills rated it really liked it
*First, let me note that I am reviewing it as a whole. I checked out the two volumes from the library and returned them, so sadly, I don't know where one stopped and the other began. Sorry! Also, some spoilers, but anyone familiar with the legend shouldn't be surprised.

Ah, King Arthur and his Knights! It brings back memories of a fourth grade me listening to my librarian spin great and chivalrous tales! I remember distinctly, her describing Morgan Le Fay taking the magical sheath to Exaclibur fr
Dec 04, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
I'm currently going through an obsessive Arthurian phase and what better to feed my passion than the first English print of the legend. Now, yes, this does mean it happens to be written in a modernised version of Old English (and yes I was a bit irritated when I found Peter Ackroyd's Modern English version the day before I finished) but I think this adds a certain charm to the tale. I certainly discovered that I regret the loss of some words and phrases from the English language (eg, anon, wonde ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: myth-legend
I'm glad Penguin* published this book in two volumes, so that I can give four stars to the first half (which is a little generous, if anything), and five to volume two. Taken as a whole, an amazing piece of literature, and perhaps the definitive version of the Arthurian story. While there is a continuous plot to the entire saga (although not always in chronological order), it's broken up into various nearly stand-alone sections, each with its own heroes and storylines. I found that most of the w ...more
Jul 16, 2016 Nuska rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Tradicional y clásica novela de caballerías, llena de aventuras, amor y honor. Pese a ser un género denostado en uno de mis libros favoritos (Don Quijote de la Mancha II), siempre me ha gustado cómo enlaza una aventura con otra por el mero hecho de vivir aventuras. El rey Arturo y sus caballeros de la tabla redonda (especialmente el gran Lanzarote del Lago) están entre mis personajes literarios preferidos de todos los tiempos. Por otro lado, siempre me ha causado curiosidad que el rey Arturo pue ...more
Nov 22, 2015 MJ marked it as to-read
(from Wikipedia) There are multiple candidates for first novel in English partly because of ignorance of earlier works, but largely because the term novel can be defined so as to exclude earlier candidates:

Some critics require a novel to be wholly original and so exclude retellings like Le Morte d'Arthur.
Most critics distinguish between an anthology of stories with different protagonists, even if joined by common themes and milieus, and the novel (which forms a connected narrative), and so als
Chad Warner
Nov 21, 2015 Chad Warner rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
There are a few interesting scenes, but I was mentally disengaged for the majority of it. I stopped at Book V: “The First and the Second Book of Sir Tristrams de Lione.”

As expected, there's a lot of chivalry, heroism, and fighting (especially duals). I was somewhat surprised to find that Christianity plays more of a political or cultural role than a moral one; several knights show no qualms about adultery, as one example.

I started reading this because Arthurian legend has greatly influenced West
Jul 05, 2016 Suhail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
An interesting read. It's kind of strange that the book is named after king Arthur when lots of the chapters are about his knights with only a passing mention of the legendary king.

Of course the women get a raw deal. Still it's a bit unsettling to see how little they got to decide for themselves.

Another thing is, this is a 15th century retelling of events from the 6th century. It's hard to see what belonged to the early middle ages and what was influenced by the centuries in between.

The introd
Mary Ann
May 04, 2015 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
I first read this in high school and again in college; I liked it very much then, not so much now. It is an important work in English literature for its 15th century interpretation of a 5th century figure. With its depiction of the chivalric code and courtly love, it has had a deep influence on so much of the prose and poetry that followed. I credit it, along with The Once and Future King, for the beginning of my life-long interest in all things Arthurian, but I have more affinity for those whic ...more
Sep 21, 2016 Nate rated it really liked it
a case of more interesting than enjoyable, malory's style is incredibly terse and the iconic scenes of king arthur present in this volume like the sword and the stone or the lady of the lake come across in a dry sentence or two. overall i thought the french stuff like troyes and the welsh stuff like sir gawain b/w green knight were better reads. king arthur takes a bit of a backseat in this volume, aside from the stories of his ascension to power, which contains possibly the most confusing battl ...more
Puntuación: 2'5/5

(Leído solo el volumen 1, hasta el final del primer libro de Tristán).

Bueno... No puedo decir que no me ha gustado porque sería una mentira, pero tampoco ha sido lo que me esperaba. Sí, ya sé lo que estaréis pensando: "¡Es un libro medieval!" Y es cierto, es un libro de finales de la Edad Media, sobre caballeros andantes, y no ha sido ninguna sorpresa que el estilo fuera repetitivo y que lo único que hicieran los personajes fuera luchar y luchar. Creo que lo que más me ha decepc
Jan 29, 2011 Jesse rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
This was a difficult read for me, but I enjoyed it.

The style of writing is consistant with other liturature of this time period, and that was where I struggled. The stories, themselves, were entertaining.

A lot of "so-and-so begot so-and-so" and almost continual fighting between knights. This also became tedious. In many ways, the reader is not really told who we should be supporting and who is the evil character. As the books and chapters change to focus on new knights, they often fight kinghts
Aug 31, 2015 Donnagarnet rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to find this in the original 15th century English. While the language does add to the sparkle of the story, it is a bit of a pain to have to pause to look up an obscure term (hence, four rather than five stars). This is the version of the King Arthur legends that made me go to see the grave of Arthur & Guinevere at Glastonbury Abbey (Yeah, I know they were faked, but I love the Arthurian legends & Glastonbury was worth the bus ride from Bristol for other reasons as wel ...more
Gijs Grob
Omvangrijke en praktisch complete vertelling over King Arthur, Merlijn en zijn ridders. Vooral de laatsten beleven allerhande nauwelijks gerelateerde avonturen, die ze vaak zelfs expres opzoeken. In vrijwel al deze avonturen zijn duels met andere nobele ridders en schone jonkvrouwen betrokken.

Met historische waarheden heeft het allemaal niets van doen en je kan er ook niets anders dan 14e eeuwse taferelen in zien. In de eerdere passages domineert de toekomstvoorspellende alweter Merlijn nogal, d
Clare Farrelly
Oct 02, 2016 Clare Farrelly rated it liked it
It was interesting to read (listen to on audio) one of (or the) earliest telling of the arthurian legends. It bothered me a little that every chapter heading gave away everything that happened in the following chapter, but having read so many retelling it is not hard to guess anyway. It was fun to listen to but not particularly intriguing, because it was written in such a plain factual way.

There are also a few mentions of sorcery of Queen Morgan Le Fay, and Merlin is also changing his appearanc
Jan 05, 2011 Brian rated it liked it
9/14/09 - 5/10
After reading some about King Arthur in the Fionavar Tapestry series, I decided to explore more. Malory's version of the Arthurian legends and the matter of Britain are one of the earliest English compilations. The books are interesting as history of the Arthurian legends, but the languange is rather stilted and the story is a bit repetitive and not too interesting. It's not a tough read, but becomes a bit boring as it devolves into a knight did this and then smote this and then di
Scott Williams
Jul 29, 2015 Scott Williams rated it liked it
I read this previously (about ten years ago) and remember enjoying it a lot, however, this time it seemed like kind of a slog to get through. Maybe my head wasn't in the right place for it. I felt the titular hero was largely absent after the first 50 or so pages. Most of the book deals with the misadventures of the knights of the Round Table who seem hellbent on battling one another for a series of fairly ridiculous reasons.

I had planned to go directly into Volume Two but I think now that I mi
Jul 30, 2012 Jeshu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: arthurian legends fans
Recommended to Jeshu by: my brit lit teacher on 2010
Shelves: arthurian
Yes. I know. I ranted a lot about this book and now I rate it 4 star. Funny, huh?

Despite the initial conflicts I had with Malory, after the first six book I started to enjoy it! Now that I finished, I can say honestly that I really liked it. It is my first not-modern Arthurian Legend and I am not disappointed! Huzzah!

One thing to warn you: Malory's writing skills tend to be a little bit tedious if you are not used to the medieval style. For further reference, check the chapters regarding the bat
Adam Yeaton
Jul 17, 2016 Adam Yeaton rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reading
Approximately three-quarters of this book is knights getting knocked off of horses, getting really mad that they've been knocked off of horses, then knocking other knights off of their horses and taking the horses as revenge.
Mar 27, 2014 Jessica rated it did not like it
While I love the Arthurian saga and have read different versions, I just could not get through the extremely dry olde English translation. If it was written in a much easier to read translation, I would have of course loved it.
Oct 13, 2010 Stephen rated it it was amazing
The companion text of the best class I have ever taken. Because this class was so defining in my life, this book will live in me forever and mor ethan likely be read often. Unfortunately my profesor died right after the class ended, and I am left with this text, to gain any more wisdom from the man. Truth is this book can be applied to all aspects of life and the human condition. I believe it portrays human nature even better than most say Shakespeare does. Once one gets past the old English, it ...more
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Sir Thomas Malory was a knight in the fifteenth century, who, while imprisoned, compiled the collection of tales we know as Le Morte D'Arthur, translating the legend of King Arthur from original French tales such as the Vulgate Cycle.
More about Thomas Malory...

Other Books in the Series

Le Morte d'Arthur (2 books)
  • Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol. 2

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