I am grateful to the publishers listed below for permission to include passages essential to this book and for their prompt responses to my inquiries: Boydell & Brewer for the excerpt from Professor Derek Brewer’s introduction to Aspects of Malory; Cambridge University Press for the passages from The English Works of Roger Ascham, ed. William Aldis Wright, and for extracts from The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney, ed. Albert Feuillerat; Columbia University Press for a passage from the New Letters of Robert Southey, ed. Kenneth Curry; J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd and Everyman’s Library for the use of Caxton’s Preface to the Morte Darthur, the Early English Text Society for excerpts from Richard Robinson’s translation of Leland’s Assertion of Arthur which appeared in Chinon of England, ed. W.E. Mead; Ginn & Company for the extensive use of W.E. Mead’s introduction to Selections from Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Macmillan, London and Basingstoke, for introductory material from the Morte d’Arthur, ed. A.W. Pollard; and Yale University Press for the passages from the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, Johnson on Shakespeare, ed. Arthur Sherbo.
This book owes a great deal to the work of other scholars in the field. In addition to specialized books and articles, I am particularly indebted to three more comprehensive works, James Merriman’s The Flower of Kings, Beverly Taylor’s and Elisabeth Brewer’s The Return of King Arthur, and Page West Life’s Sir Thomas Malory and the Morte Darthur: An Annotated Bibliography and Survey of Scholarship. (Complete citations appear in the notes to the Introduction.)
I am also indebted to those who generously gave time and assistance to this project. In particular, I wish to thank Professors Barry Gaines and Toshiyuki Takamiya for their very helpful comments and suggestions on the lists of Malory editions. Professor Takamiya kindly read the Introduction as well and provided additional information at several points. I am grateful for errors prevented; for any that remain, I am, of course, responsible.