SHAKESPEARE'S genius, towering above that of all other Englishmen, has had one unfortunate effect on his native county; it has tended to focus all attention on the Swan of Avon to the almost complete neglect of other Warwickshire authors. Yet there is another name, standing high in the realm of letters, which Warwickshire folk are fully entitled to claim -- that of Sir Thomas Malory, author of the Morte d'Arthur. Hitherto very little has been known about Malory; practically the only one to raise a corner of the thick curtain which has concealed the identity of the knight who in 1469 finished writing the immortal story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has been Professor George Lyman Kittredge, of Harvard University.1
Professor Kittredge made it sufficiently clear that Sir Thomas Malory came from Newbold Revel, in the parish of Monks Kirby, Warwickshire -- a point which will be found emphasised by additional matter in Chapter XV of the present work. Professor Kittredge's conjectural identification of the author of the Morte was put on record as long ago as March, 1894, when it was announced in Johnson Universal Cyclopædia. This, however, did not attract notice in England; therefore, when Mr. T. W. Williams stated in the Athenæum of July 11, 1896, that he had discovered among Wells Cathedral MSS a document which excluded "Thomas Malorie, miles," from a general pardon in 1468, he did
"Who was Sir Thomas Malory?" An article contained in vol. V of Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, Boston, Mass., 1897.