In the 1450s, Sir Thomas Malory sat down at his prison table to write his glorious Le Morte d’Arthur. He had sent for a rich and exciting library of Arthurian romances, a few of them in middle English but far more in French, and these he translated, condensed and extended, amended and dramatised to create the Arthurian story as it is known to English-speaking audiences worldwide. That we understand just what he translated, and how, we owe to the devoted, painstaking life’s work of my former colleague Professor Fanni Bogdanow, who has died aged 86.Fanni’s life story was as remarkable as any romance. She was born in Düsseldorf, Germany. When she was 11, in 1939 and just in time, her parents loaded her on to a Kindertransport train bound for Britain. She was taken in by a Quaker family in Manchester to whom she remained very grateful. In 1945, she won a scholarship to study French at Manchester University; she was to stay at Manchester, as undergraduate, postgraduate, lecturer, reader and professor, for the rest of her life. Her parents, astonishingly, survived between them Dachau, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen; to Fanni’s intense joy, her mother later joined her in Manchester.Meanwhile, however, …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books