Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte Darthur (2 volume set) (Arthurian Studies) (Hardcover) by Field P. J. C.
Malory completed his Morte Darthur in 1469-70. The two earliest surviving witnesses the Winchester manuscript and Caxton's printed edition were both produced within the next sixteen years. The manuscript was soon lost but its rediscovery in 1934 revealed that these two texts had striking differences. Eighty years of scholarship in a variety of disciplines has discovered a good deal about who changed what and why: the Caxton for instance tends to be very unreliable in the last few lines of particular kinds of pages. These discoveries should make it possible to produce an edition of Malory's book that comes closer than ever before to what Malory intended to write. The present edition aims to do that basing itself on the Winchester manuscript but treating it merely as the most important piece of evidence for what Malory intended and the default text where no other reading can be shown to be more probable. P.J.C. Field is Professor of English at Bangor University.