Acclaimed biographer Peter Ackroyd vibrantly resurrects the legendary epic of Camelot in this modern adaptation
The names of Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, Galahad, the sword of Excalibur, and the court of Camelot are as recognizable as any from the world of myth. Although many versions exist of the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory endures as the most moving and richly inventive.
In this abridged retelling the inimitable Peter Ackroyd transforms Malory's fifteenth-century work into a dramatic modern story, vividly bringing to life a world of courage and chivalry, magic, and majesty. The golden age of Camelot, the perilous search for the Holy Grail, the love of Guinevere and Lancelot, and the treachery of Arthur's son Mordred are all rendered into contemporary prose with Ackroyd's characteristic charm and panache. Just as he did with his fresh new version of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Ackroyd now brings one of the cornerstones of English literature to a whole new audience.
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Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, critic, and biographer.
Sir Thomas Malory was a knight and estate owner in the mid 15th century, who spent many years in prison for political crimes as well as robbery. He wrote Le Morte D'Arthur, the first great English prose epic, while imprisoned in Newgate. The epic was published in 1485 by William Caxton, the first English printer. Malory is believed to have died in 1471.
"In this ingenious decanting of an old wine into a new bottle, [Peter Ackroyd] has taken a glorious part of our cultural heritage and made it more accessible to the readers of the 21st century." The Sunday Telegraph
"Peter Ackroyd's lightly trimmed and streamlined Le Morte d'Arthur makes it eminently readable." Sunday Times
"The majesty of Malory's book survives too, not least in the final chapters telling of the internal conflicts that destroy the Round Table, the passion of Lancelot and Guinevere, and the destiny that Arthur has had coming to him for a long time: death in battle. This, as retold by Peter Ackroyd, remains a bizarre but thrilling piece of writing." The Wall Street Journal