Le Morte d’Arthur (or Le Morte Darthur, as originally spelled), is Sir Thomas Malory’s series of reinvented tales about King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. Malory created, translated, and adapted the Arthurian saga while he was in prison. Historically, Le Morte d’Arthur is the most complete (known) treatment of the story.
The French Vulgate Cycle (1225-1230) was Malory’s primary source, along with the 14th-century English poems:
- Stanzaic Morte
- The Alliterative Morte d’Arthur
There’s also evidence that Malory may have had access to the Greyfriar’s Library in London and to several aristocratic libraries in Yorkshire.
The complete list of his sources is, of course, now difficult to differentiate. From his wealth of sources, he disentangled the threads of narration and reintegrated them into his own creation. Part history, part chronicle, part narrative, part sermon, and utterly memorable synthesis of Arthurian myth, his is the version of the Arthurian legend that endures into modern times.