The Death of King Arthur
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The Death of King Arthur : The Immortal Legend

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A gripping retelling of the timeless epic of romance, enchantment and adventure, Peter Ackroyd's The Death of King Arthur recasts Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur in clear, compelling modern English prose, published in Penguin Classics. 'In the old wild days of the world there was a King of England known as Uther Pendragon; he was a dragon in wrath as well as in power ...' Born with the help of Merlin's magic, blessed with the sword of Excalibur, Arthur becomes King of a troubled England, beginning a golden age of chivalry at the court of Camelot. But his reign is soon to be torn apart by violence, revenge and tragedy ...Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur made the legend of King Arthur immortal. Now Peter Ackroyd's retelling brings his timeless story of love, heroism and betrayal to new life for our times. Sir Thomas Malory (c.1405-1471) 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. Peter Ackroyd (b. 1949) is an award-winning writer and historian. Formerly literary editor of The Spectator and chief book reviewer for the The Times, he is the author of novels such as Hawksmoor (1985) and The House of Doctor Dee (1993), as well as non-fiction including Dickens: Public Life and Private Passion (2002), London: The Biography (2000), and Thames: Sacred River (2007). If you enjoyed The Death of King Arthur, you might like Ackroyd's The Canterbury Tales, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I admire this version enormously ...This story has to move with both swiftness and dignity, and yoking those two qualities together is not an easy task; but Ackroyd does it with ease' Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy 'Ackroyd's lightly trimmed and streamlined Le Morte d'Arthur makes it eminently readable' Sunday Timesshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 22mm | 260g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0140455655
  • 9780140455656
  • 92,102

Review quote

I thought Peter Ackroyd's Morte d'Arthur was masterful. The quality I admired most was the absolute clarity of the storytelling. This story - or set of stories - has to move with both swiftness and dignity, and yoking those two qualities together is not an easy task; but Ackroyd does it with ease. I think he can probably do anything. I admire this version enormously Philip Pullman 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. -- Michael Caines Wall Street Journal 'In this ingenious decanting of an old wine into a new bottle, [Peter Ackroyd] he has taken a glorious part of our cultural heritage and made it more accessible to the readers of the 21st century. ' -- David Robson Sunday Telegraphshow more

About Peter Ackroyd

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. Malory is believed to have died in 1471. Peter Ackroyd is a well known writer and historian. He has been the literary editor of The Spectator and chief book reviewer for the The Times, as well as writing several highly acclaimed books including a biography of Dickens and London: The Biography. He resides in London and his most recent highly acclaimed work is Thames: Sacred River.show more

Review Text

I thought Peter Ackroyd's Morte d'Arthur was masterful. The quality I admired most was the absolute clarity of the storytelling. This story - or set of stories - has to move with both swiftness and dignity, and yoking those two qualities together is not an easy task; but Ackroyd does it with ease. I think he can probably do anything. I admire this version enormously Philip Pullmanshow more