It is hard to say anything about Thomas Malory with certainty. Even his authorship of the outstanding Le Morte Darthur, the only book assigned to him, has been questioned. However, the text provides us with the author's name, and the one Thomas Malory who most likely is the author of Le Morte Darthur seems to have been in prison when he wrote the book. Le Morte Darthur is the only work he wrote, but it has been very influential ever since it appeared; it was one of the first English books printed by William Caxton.
Assumptions are made that the so-called Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel, a place in Warwickshire, was born shortly before 1400 since he is found in military service in the Earl of Warwick's party in the year 1415. His relation to the Earl became decisive for his future career which saw him the heir of the family estate in 1433/4. In 1445 he served as member of parliament for his shire. Still, he was closely connected with political changes due to the moves of the Wars of the Roses. Since his overlord was on the unsuccessful Lancastrian side he was imprisoned and afterwards excluded from several pardons granted by the Yorkist king Edward IV.
It was in prison where he finished his voluminous compilation of Arthurian sources in 1469/70. Malory died only about a year later in March 1471.
|Literature, Poetry, Middle English Period|