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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

Listings for Author:  

Thomas Malory


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Thomas Malory : Morte D'Arthur

Wu notes translated extract from Sir Bors' lament for Arthur (in the Morte D'Arthur of Thomas Malory) in the Wordsworth Commonplace Book.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Wordsworth Family     Manuscript: Unknown


Thomas Malory : Morte d'Arthur

'When the seventeen-year-old seaman entered Mr Pratt's bookstore on Sixth Avenue near Greenwich Avenue, he bought his first volume of Sir Thomas Malory's Morete d'Arthur; with this he began his career of serious reading as well as his devotion to pre-Renaissance English literature'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: John Masefield      Print: Book


Thomas Malory : Le Morte D'Arthur

Passages transcribed into E. M. Forster, Commonplace Book (1937) include part of Le Morte D'Arthur, XX.3, opening: ' "So upon Trinity Sunday at night King Arthur dreamed a womderful dream [...] that to him there seemed he sat upon a chaflet [platform] in a chair, and the chair was fast to a wheel "'. Underneath, Forster notes: 'Copied, with modernised spelling, just as King George VI returned from his coronation to his palace.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Edward Morgan Forster      Print: Book


Thomas Malory : Morte d'Arthur

'Oct 4th. [1858] "To-day," my mother says [in diary], "A. took a volume of the Morte d'Arthur and read a noble passage about the battle with the Romans. He went to meet Mr and Mrs Roebuck at dinner at Swainston: and the comet was grand, with Arcturus shining brightly over the nucleus. At dinner he said he must leave the table to look at it, and they all followed [...]" When he returned next night he "observed the comet from his platform, and, when he came down for tea, read some Paradise Lost."'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Alfred Tennyson      Print: Book


Thomas Malory : Morte d'Arthur

'On Feb. 17th [1861] my father told my mother about his plan for a new poem, "The Northern Farmer." 'By the evening of Feb. 18th he had already written down a great part of "The Northern Farmer" [...] They also read of Sir Gareth in the Morte d'Arthur.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Alfred and Emily Tennyson     Print: Book


Thomas Malory : Le Morte d'Arthur

'I have nearly finished The Morte D'arthur. I am more pleased at having bought it every day, as it has opened up a new world to me. I had no idea that the Arthurian legends were so fine (The name is against them, isn't it??) Malory is really not a great author, but he has two excellent gifts, (1) that of lively narrative and (2) the power of getting you to know characters by gradual association. What I mean is, that, although he never sits down - as moderns do - to describe a man's character, yet, by the end of the first volume Launcelot & Tristan, Balin & Pellinore, Morgan le Fay & Isoud are all just as much real, live people as Paul Emanuel or Mme Beck. The very names of the chapters, as they spring to meet the eye, bear with them a fresh, sweet breath from the old-time faery world, wherein the author moves. Who can read "How Launcelot in the Chapel Perilous gat a cloth from a Dead corpse"... and not hasten to find out what it's all about?'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Clive Staples Lewis      Print: Book


Thomas Malory : Le Morte d'Arthur

(1) 'I have been reading again the second volume of Malory, especially the part of the "Sangreal" which I had forgotten. With all its faults, in small doses this book is tip-top: those mystic parts are very good to read late at night when you are drowsy and tired and get into a sort of "exalted" mood. Do you know what I mean?' (2) 'It was unfortunate that I should choose a word like "exaltation" which is so often used in connection with religion and so give you a wrong impression of my meaning. I will try to explain again: have you ever sat over the fire late, late at night.... Everything seems like a dream, you are absolutely contented, and "out of the world".... It is in this sort of mood that the quaint, old mystical parts of Malory are exactly suitable...' (3) '...the "Morte" which I have now read from the beginning of the Quest of the Grael to the end, thus finishing the whole thing. I certainly enjoyed it much better than before, and wished that I had the first volume here as well.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Clive Staples Lewis      Print: Book


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