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Tudor Minute March 14, 1471: Thomas Mallory Dies

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for March 14.

Today in 1471 Thomas Mallory died. He is famous for having written Le Morte d’Arthur in prison, the same year of his death. Mallory took the famous ideas of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and put them into one large book, which was published by William Caxton in 1485. At the beginning of the book, Caxton had written, “ “For this was written by a knight prisoner Thomas Malleorre, that God send him good recovery.”

There has been much debate about the identity of Mallory, in part because of the multiple spellings of his name. A scholar in 1896 identified him as a knight who fought at Calais with the Earl of Warwick, but a later biography identified him as a man who was in prison for theft and kidnapping. It’s likely that he was from Warwickshire, and in 1451 he was accused of ambushing Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham. Later he was extorting money from monks, and somehow got involved in a plot with Richard Neville, the earl of Warwick to overthrow Edward IV.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Links:

Episode 21 on William Caxton

Episode 62 – printing from Caxton to Shakespeare

Le Morte d’Arthur book Amazon Associates Link