William Stansby (d. 1639), a printer, acquired the rights to the Morte Darthur in 1626 and published a new edition, for Jacob Blome, in 1634. The preface gives a brief summary of events of British history drawn mainly from Geoffrey, ‘set down to confute the errours of such as are of an opinion that there was never any such man as king Arthur’. After additional urging that Arthur be accepted and honoured, the author/editor, possibly Blome, introduces Malory’s book, as seen in the first passage (a) below; phrases in this section seem to echo Bale (see No. 3B above). He also explains his expurgations.
This edition altered Caxton’s divisions of the text, so after repeating Caxton’s prologue down to the contents of the twenty-one books, this preface substituted the second passage (b) to explain the new arrangements. Both passages are taken from Thomas Wright’s edition of Malory, based on Stansby, La Mort d’Arthure (London: John Russell Smith, 1858), I, xxiv-xxv and xxxii-xxxiii.
This following history was first written in the French and Italian tongues, so much did the poets and chronologers of forraine nations admire our Arthur. It was many yeares after the first writing of it, translated into English, by the painfull industry of one Sir Thomas Maleore, knight, in the ninth year of the raigne of king Edward the Fourth, about one hundred and fifty two yeares past; wherein the reader may see the best forme and manner of writing and speech that was in use at those times. In many places fables and fictions are inserted, which may be a blemish to the reputation of what is true in this history, and it is unfitting for us to raze or blot out all the errours of our ancestours, for by our taking considera