Annotations for Le Morte Darthur : Authoritative Text, Sources and Backgrounds, Criticism
A primary and secondary source to the 15th-century prose saga for students of English literature. The text includes footnotes explaining terms and references, and marginal references to manuscript pages. A glossary, related contemporary documents, and recent critical essays support the text. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
No other edition accurately represents the actual (and likely authorial) divisions of the text as attested to by its two surviving witnesses--Caxton's 1485 print and, especially, the famous Winchester Manuscript. The Winchester Manuscript is now generally agreed to be the more authentic of the two earlier texts. The Norton Critical Edition is the first edition of Malory to recover important elements of this manuscript: paragraphing marginal annotations hierarchies of narrative division as signaled by size and decorative intricacy of initial capitals and font changes The Norton Critical Edition also represents, in black-letter font, the striking rubrication of proper names in the Winchester Manuscript, reconstructing for readers something of an authentic medieval reading experience, one which gives visual support to Malory's extraordinary representation, in character and setting, of a chivalric ideal. No other student edition of Malory contains such extensive contextual and critical support.
The text is unabridged, with original spelling and extensive, easy-to-use marginal glosses and footnotes.