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Monday, August 6, 2012

“Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table: A Rendition in Modern Idiom”, by Thomas Malory, rendered by Keith Baines

512 pages, Bramhall House, ISBN-13: 978-0517020609

Contained within the pages of this book, is the most notorious of all stories to emerge from the depths of the Dark Ages of European history. Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur is one of the greatest works of English literature and the source of the Arthurian legends, as we know them today. This legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is an exquisite story of adventure, love, honor, and betrayal. Throughout the whole of Malory's story there is the underlying theme that a thing's making is ultimately it's undoing, be it kingdom, man, or quest. Not only is this theme evident in this story but in his own life as well. Le Morte d'Arthur is a truly legendary work of art, given new life in this splendid rendition by Keith Baines.

Keith Baines' re-typing of the classic Le Morte D'Arthur originally by Sir Thomas Malory entirely transforms the reading of this story from nearly unbearable (due to the old English words and spelling) and painful into an easy to read and awesome telling of the legend of King Arthur. I found Keith Baines' rendition, and his book not only made the reading more understandable but so much more enjoyable to read. And not only that, the amount of reading is very noticeably reduced in length because all the “ye's” and “thy's” were cut out entirely. You can get all the information in 20 pages in this book that would've taken you 30+ pages in the original old-English version. One thing I did notice about Keith Baines' version compared to the older text is: In Book 4, Chapter 25 of the original text, there are FOUR sons that Sir Marhaus fights, but in Baines' rendition there are SIX sons. But that is the only detail that I have noticed that is different.

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