All about King Arthur

King Arthur:  Was he real?  Was he even a king?  Someone reached my blog the other day by typing in “King Arthur wasn’t Welsh”.  What?  Clearly that person needed to be pointed in the proper direction and I’m glad my blog was here to do it. I have written extensively about King Arthur in many places on this blog, and with that poor lost soul in mind, I realized that it might be of some benefit to put these posts all in the same place.  To find out about the origins of King Arthur, see: Geoffrey of Monmouth Historical Sources for King Arthur Possible King Arthur (s) Was King Arthur Real? Who Was Guinevere? Lancelot Morgan/Morgana/Morgan le Fey The British (Welsh/Cymry) High Council For information on the places associated with King Arthur: The Holy Grail and Dinas Bran King Arthur’s Round Read more…

Historical Sources for King Arthur

Whether or not King Arthur was a real person is an either/or query.  He either lived or he didn’t.  Many scholars, researchers, and Arthurophile’s have strong opinions on this topic, both for and against.  Because of the paucity of written records, much of the academic work has come down on the side of ‘didn’t—or at least if Arthur was a real person, his name was not ‘Arthur’ and he possibly wasn’t even a king. I, however, look at the poetry and tales from the early Middle Ages, and choose to believe he did actually exist. Medieval people certainly thought he did, and throughout the Middle Ages, an entire body of work developed around his story, much of it mythologized. Historically speaking, however, there are genuine near contemporaneous references to him that predate the kinds of stories we read about now, with the Round Read more…

Guest Post: Anna Elliott, author of “Twilight of Avalon”

Why I love Arthurian Stories In the Spring of 2007, I woke up from a very vivid dream of telling my mother that I was going to write a book about the daughter of Modred, son of Arthur and the great villain of the Arthurian cycle of tales.  I’d been writing historical fiction and sending books around to agents and editors, always coming close to being published but never actually getting a book sold.  I was four months pregnant with my first baby at the time, and had been starting to think that as much as I loved writing, maybe a professional career wasn’t going to happen for me–or at least not for some time.             Something about this dream, though, just wouldn’t let me go.  I had been an English major in college with a focus on Medieval literature Read more…

Mount Badon / Caer Faddon (part 2)

Mount Badon, if it exists at all, should appear on the map somewhere.  But where? There are many, many possibilities. First of all, we should note where Mount Badon is not.  For all that Geoffrey of Monmouth embellished and expanded the Arthurian legend, he did history a disservice in supposing that King Arthur ruled all of England, Scotland and Wales.  Geoffrey wrote his book under the patronage of Robert of Gloucester, who was trying to justify the rule of England by his half-sister, Maud.  Thus, because Maud had roots in Normandy, so did Arthur; because Maud was hoping to rule all of Great Britain, so did Arthur; because Maud’s power base was in and around Gloucester, so was Arthur’s. Yet even in the twelfth century, for one king to control all of Great Britain by force of arms was extremely difficult.  Read more…

Mount Badon

In the Arthurian legend, as well as in the historical record, Mount Badon (or Caer Baddon) is the location of Arthur’s last battle that pushed the Saxons back into England for a generation.  All the literary sources, including Geoffrey of Monmouth, the last of the historical and first of the mythical, indicate its significance.  This is what they have to say: Nennius:  “The twelfth battle was on Badon Hill and in it nine hundred and sixty men fell in one day, from a single charge of Arthur’s, and no one laid them low save he alone; and he was victorious in all his campaigns. ” Writing in 796 AD  (Historia Britonum, Page 35) Annales Cambriae:   “The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and Read more…