Ernest Rhys, like Strachey, though less extensively, changed his introduction to the Morte Darthur when, in 1892, he brought out a complete two-volume edition using Wright’s text of the Stansby edition. Having read Sommer, Rhys, too, is interested in biographical questions, although he would prefer to believe that Malory was a Welshman.
Included here are the major portions which differ from the Camelot Series introduction of 1886 (see No. 36 above). Volume I, in which the introduction appears, is called The Noble and Joyous History of King Arthur (London: Walter Scott, c. 1892), pp. vii-xiii.
Of Malory and his Morte d’Arthur, and the wider field of romance into which the book leads us, so much has been abstrusely written in the last four or five years, that the simple critic, delighting in the thing for its own sake, had needs hesitate where so many of authority have been before him. Since the present writer first wrote on the subject, with more enthusiasm, it may be owned, than science, many contributions have been made to it. The legends embodied by Malory have been learnedly dealt with, in terms of folk-lore, philology, and the like, by Professor Rhys and Mr. Alfred Nutt. Still more to the purpose, last year saw the completion of Dr. Oskar Sommer’s monumental edition of the Morte d’Arthur, whose scholarly accomplishment it needs almost a special education to appreciate. To Dr. Sommer’s three volumes, those who come to Malory, not for pleasure, but for exact knowledge, must be referred. Those, however, who come to him with the careless instinct of romance, as to a delightful tale-teller, will be differently and more easily satisfied. There is one book for