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Arthurian Legends – Malory etc

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  • The Works of Sir Thomas Malory- 3 Volumes Complete – edited Eugene Vinaver – First Edition Oxford 1947.

    The Works of Sir Thomas Malory- 3 Volumes Complete – edited Eugene Vinaver – First Edition Oxford 1947.

    Large first edition set published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford in 1947.

    Thick royal octavo, 1,742 pages overall, original black cloth covered bindings, impressed design to front, gilt titles to spine, original dust jackets a little tattered but rarely there. Obvious odeur de bibliotheque – forgive them for their reverence. The odd illustration such as a page from the Winchester manuscript (see below).

    Russian born Eugene Vinaver was at the time Professor of French Language and Literature at Manchester university. He is best know for this voluminous work which takes its place as the best study on Malory and the Authurian Legends. In 1928 Vinaver founded the Arthurian Society which became the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages. TE Lawrence had an interest before his untimely death.

    The Vivaner Arthur is based on the 15th century Winchester Manuscript which was discovered in the Fellows’ Library at Winchester in 1934 – what other prizes must these old English libraries still hold? Vivaner provides an enlightening analysis of the differences with the first Caxton printed work.

    A summary of the contents …

    Volume I – after ix Preface – introduction including the Knight-Prisoner; the Story of the Book; the Writer’s Progress and the Method of Editing. Caxton’s Preface followed by the works …

    The Tale of King Arthur; the Tale of the Noble King Arthur that was Emperor Himself through Dignity of His Hands; the Noble Tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake; the Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkeney that was called Bewmaynes; The Book of Sir Tristram de Lyones.

    Vol II – The Book of Sir Tristram de Lyones (cont); the Tale of the Sankgreal Briefly Drawn out of French, which is a Tale Chronicled for One of the Truest and One of the Holiest That Is in This World.

    Vol III – the Book of Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere; The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Gwerdon; Commentary on various Tales,; Bibliography; Glossary and Index etc.

    Thomas Malory the Full Works provided and explained … a Magnificent Effort.



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