The birth, life, and acts of King Arthur, of his noble Knights of the Round Table.

This book had a deep green cover and long yellow flowers with steams that flowed nicely over the green. These flowers reminded me of a green field on a hot summer day, the field obviously having long yellow flowers sprouting all over it. It reminded me of my many hikes and fields I had happily ran through. Its pages were tinted yellow with age and even included faint gray writing of the pages that press against them since 1909. The pages were tattered and the binding had the signs of wear or tear. The book looked as though it had seen things, after all, it has been around for 111 years. The book has had the hands of different people, with different stories turn its pages to read its story. The book smelt musty, as I would expect from a book of that age. The smell reminded me of an unfinished basement, one that had the boards for the walls but no sheetrock. This brought me back to my old house, we had an unfinished basement that at the time scared my five-year-old self. With memories flooding back of my mother asking me to get something from the basement and me running as fast as I could to do so. Memories of my childhood black lab fighting for his life as he bled in our basement from a dog attack. Needless to say, the smell of the book was not a fond one. As I flipped through the pages of the book, images scattered most of the pages. These images included men and women, some clothed and some not. The pages were scattered with more women than men, women who appeared to be evil, who appeared to be angels, and some regular women doing thinks such as sleeping or praying. The women who appeared to be angry had snake-like hair, reminding me of the myth Medusa. Those who were angles appeared with giant white wings and a long gown. The size of the book was large, 620 pages to be exact. Since the book was large, it was also heavy. So heavy that I would develop back problems if I had to keep it in my backpack. I would compare the weight of the book to two medium-sized textbooks stacked on top of one another, or just two textbooks in your backpack. The size while not unbearable, still larger than most books today. The physical nature of the book that interests me the most is the font. The font itself reminds me of the boring times new roman font of Microsoft word, but the way the pictures are inserted inside the font and the way that the font changes in size interest me. The pictures in the book are inserted along the left or right side of the page. They tend to be small and the text wraps around them. While flipping through the pages of the book, I also noticed that there are times when the font increases in size for a reason that I can’t figure out.

When researching why this book is important I found many things that would make it so. I found out that there is only 1500 copies of the regular issue, making the price of this book range from the 800s to the 1300s depending on the edition. Another special thing about this book was that it was one of the first books from William Caxton’s new printing press, the first in England. This book includes a long introduction by professor John Rhys as well as a note by Aymer Vallance. I found that the book was part of the Brotherton collection. The Brotherton collection contains hundreds of thousands of rare books. They also collect manuscripts, archives, and art. An interesting thing about this book is that there are eleven drawings that were mistakenly left out of some editions. The book also contains 351 designs that took the artist 18 months to complete. Its decorative illustrations are what the book is valued for, for example, it includes 350 chapter headings, borders, and initials. The designs in this book were described as “a leap of faith” on unproven art. This book includes an original drawing of Aubrey Beardsley, as well as many other black and white drawings. Beardsley was an illustrator for the British and a later well-known one. At the time Beardsley was not well-known meaning that the author took a chance when he allowed Beardsley to incorporate his illustrations. Beardsley died about four years later, at the age of 25. This book actually contains many typos and some missing texts, including in the title. Although copies of the book without these typos and missing words/letters can be purchased as well.  There are actually two volumes of this book. One volume represents the birth of King Arthur and his quests, while the represents the death and the departing. The specific book that I have chosen is the first volume. The life and adventures of King Arthur and his knights. The author of this book developed his idea from prison, he read many books on the tales of Arthur while serving time for being accused of attempted murder. Thomas Malory (The author) spent a lot of time in prison for things such as armed assault, theft, rape, and extortion. Although this is not comforting news about Malory it did allow him to create the book that many people value today. In conclusion, this book holds value because of its age, its designs, its illustrator, and much more. The book allowed Aubrey Beardsley to be discovered and was written by a man with an interesting back story. All of this information making this book qualify for special collections and hold a high value. This book is also the work of many people all into one, with the main writing by Thomas Malory. When researching this book information was hard to come by and was mainly gathered by sites that sold or held the book in a special library. Although I did find a lot of information on Thomas Malory, as well as a lot of information on the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley.



Malory. The Birth Life and Acts of King Arthur of His Noble Knights of the Round Table Their Marvellous Enquests and Adventures, the Achieving of the San Greal and in the End Le Morte DArthur with the Dolourous Death and Departing Out of the World of Them All – Price Estimate: $500 – $800,

BEARDSLEY, Aubrey, and Thomas MALORY. “The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur, of His Noble Knights of the Round Table by Aubrey BEARDSLEY, Sir Thomas MALORY, The BOYDELL PRESS on David Brass Rare Books.” David Brass Rare Books, London: The Boydell Press, 1985.,
Wight, Colin. “Thomas Malory’s ‘Le Morte Darthur’.” The British Library – The British Library, The British Library, 13 June 2008,
“Birth Life and Acts of King Arthur, of His Noble Knights of the Round Table, Their Marvellous Enquests and Adventures, the Achieving of the San Greal and in the End Le Morte Darthur with the Dolourous Death and Departing out of This World of Them All, The.” Birth Life and Acts of King Arthur, of His Noble Knights of the Round Table, Their Marvellous Enquests and Adventures, the Achieving of the San Greal and in the End Le Morte Darthur with the Dolourous Death and Departing out of This World of Them All, The | Robbins Library Digital Projects,

Beardsley, et al. “Design for the Spine of Le Morte Darthur by Sir Thomas Malory.” AbeBooks, J. M. Dent, London, 1 Jan. 1893,