The Discovery of King Arthur

The Discovery of King Arthur

by Geoffrey Ashe


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Attempts to find the person (if any) behind the legend of King Arthur have been going on for a long time. The search has revealed many interesting facts and it has also led to sharp disagreements. By the 1980s, the search was more or less abandoned, having reached a dead-end. The Discovery of King Arthur presents an investigation that broke the deadlock. Arthur emerged from it with a firmer status in history. He was also more interesting - more like his legend - than once appeared likely. It became possible to see better why he became the kind of figure he did. The delay in running him to earth was due to the nature of the problem he posed. Medieval authors who gave him his literary grandeur fitted him into what they claimed was Britain's history several centuries later. Not much of that history can stand up in the light of present day knowledge - it is mostly legend. So historians who looked for Arthur swept the medieval matter aside and searched for him in the scanty older records. But the search was inconclusive. A convincing answer called for a different approach. This books shows that the Arthurian legend itself needs to be taken seriously and sifted for clues. The right questions to ask are not the direct ones, 'Who was Arthur?' or 'Did he exist?', but 'Where did his legend come from?' and 'What facts is the legend rooted in?'. If we line up the legend side by side with the facts as we know them today, the problem of Arthur's identity can be solved.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780750942119
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 11/25/2005
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 389,401
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey Ashe is widely regarded as one of the leading Arthurian specialists and is author of A Guide to Arthurian Britain, Avalonian Quest, The Quest for Arthur's Britain, and Camelot and the Vision of Albion. In 2000, Sutton republished The Hell Fire Clubs: A History of Anti-Morality. A former secretary of the Camelot Research Committee. He now lives in Glastonbury.

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The Discovery of King Arthur 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
BriarRose72 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are serious in your search for the actual historical Arthur, this book is for you. Otherwise, don¿t bother, as it does involve dedicated focus to read, and can be somewhat tedious. This is due, no doubt, to the fact that Ashe is handling primary source material spanning many centuries, and presenting us with the relevant details in a relatively small tome. Quite an undertaking, and one which he handles quite masterfully. To observe Ashe¿s thought processes as he fits pieces together is gratifying, and his wry sense of humor is enjoyable (esp. when he pokes fun at the ¿Arthur-as-god¿ camp). Definitely worthwhile.
MiaAndPatrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is for people like me who want to know the man behind the myth. Ashe provides a plausible candidate for the basis of the King Arthur legend.
vibrantminds on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Geoffrey Ashe takes us into a world of medieval Europe in search for King Arthur. Did he exist or is he nothing but a myth? His journey leads to a most intersting outcome.