Mapping Malory: Regional Identities and National Geographies in Le Morte d'Arthur (BOK)
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This book redraws the map of Arthurian studies. Challenging the common understanding of Malory's Morte Darthur as a celebration of an expansionist, united England, this book's closer attention to geography and regional identities brings out political subtexts about the heterogeneous nature of Britain. Transforming the understanding of Arthur and his major knights by placing them in their regional home territories, this approach shows a fractured and far-flung Britain. The careers of the famous knights have a geopolitical logic, defined not just by the big kingdoms of Scotland, Wales, France, and England, but also by smaller territories such as Orkney, Cornwall, and the Isles. Under constant pressure, knights' regional identities are formed by negotiation with other territories and with imagined histories that stretch as far as Rome and Sarras. The complex relations among places result in a far more contested and variegated form of nationalism than expected in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period.