SIR THOMAS MALORY'S Morte Darthuris famous without being well known, and Malory him self is to many a legend rather than a real person. Imperceptibly but none the less surely he has come to be identified with the spirit and the matter of his writings, and has been held responsible for the entire body of the old romantic tradition contained in his book. The Malory with whom the present study is concerned is not this legendary figure, but the great translator who attempted to remodel the French Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages in accordance with his own taste and genius. Only with the help of his sources is it possible to study his art and to reveal his real literary character. I began this inquiry in my Roman de Tristan et Iseut dans l'œuvre de Thomas Malory ( 1925) and have now extended it to the other parts of the Morte Darthur so as to introduce new problems and widen the scope of my former conclusions. I know how afar my work falls short of completeness; I have but endeavoured to suggest a method which may yet yield better results.
Oxford, April, 1929.