APPENDIX ONE
MATERIALS FOR MALORY'S BIOGRAPHY

1. Malory's Identity
IN Chapter I of this study I assume that the author of the Morte Darthur was Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel. The evidence on which this theory is based is as follows:--The Morte Darthur contains the following indications concerning its author: (1) his name was Thomas Maleore; (2) he was a knight; (3) he was alive between 4 March 1469 and 3 March 1470, and was then old enough to write a book; (4) a large part if not the whole of the book was written in prison.The first three indications are given by Malory himself in the concluding lines of his work.1 The fourth is suggested by the two passages in which he speaks of 'good deliverance': the reflections on the hardships of seclusion in the Ninth Book, and the prayer for deliverance at the end of the work.2 The 'deliverance' for which he prayed was undoubtedly deliverance from prison, as a comparison of the two passages readily suggests. The Oxford Eng. Dict. quotes 'good deliverance' as a legal term for release from prison, but gives a fairly late example ( 1660). In France, on the other hand, 'mettre à pleine délivrance' was a common technical term in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.3 The only other meaning of the word might be 'deliverance from sickness', but this is put out of question by the first passage: 'For alle the whyle a prysoner may have his helthe of body, he maye endure under the mercy of God, and in hope of good delyveraunce. But whanne sekenes toucheth a prysoners body . . .', &c. Hence both passages would seem to refer to Malory's imprisonment.The four conditions necessary for the identification of our author are fulfilled in the life of Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel:
1. His name was Thomas, but his surname was spelt in many different fashions. The records quoted below give the following readings: Malore (Dugdale, Bridges), Mallore (Bridges, Calendarof Pat. Rolls
____________________
1
Cf. supra, p. 1.
2
Cf. supra, pp. 7-8.
3
Cf. Choix de piéces inédites relatives au règne de Charles VI ed. by L. Douët- D'Arcq , vol. i, p. 118: 'que les personnes des dessudiz de la Rivière et le Mercier soient mis à plaine délivrance'. This 'délivrance' dates from 1394. A later document quoted by Douët-D'Arcq in La Chronique d'Enguerran de Monstrelet en deux livres avec pièces justificatives 1400-1444, vol. i, p. 409, says as follows: 'son corps et ses biens non confisqués, se aucuns en sont pour ce prins, saisiz, levez ou arrestez, lui mectent ou facent mectre sans délay à plaine délivrance'.

-115-

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Malory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Illustrations x
  • Chapter One - Sir Thomas Malory and His Printer 1
  • Chapter Two - the Genesis of Arthurian Romance 14
  • Chapter Three - Narrative Technique 29
  • Chapter Four - Romance and Realism 43
  • Chapter Five - the Genius of Chivalry 55
  • Chapter Six - Camelot and Corbenic 70
  • Chapter Seven - the New Arthuriad 85
  • Chapter Eight Translation and Style 100
  • Conclusion 109
  • Appendix One Materials for Malory's Biography 115
  • Appendix Two the Sources of the Mort Darthur 128
  • Appendix Three 155
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 199
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