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The Keys to Avalon: The True Location of Arthur's Kingdom Revealed [Paperback]

Steve Blake , Scott Lloyd
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 April 2000
Avalon exists. It is a real place with geographical boundaries and a turbulent history. It is the treasure house of Arthurian legend, and the true birthplace of Arthur. It is the secret location in which the identity of an entire nation has lain buried. Until now.......

Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Element (4 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862047235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862047235
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,035,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Keys to Avalon new text
Keys to Avalon came in at number 10 on the history bestseller list. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd have devoted decades of research to the subject of arthur and Ancient Britain. They have close links with the specialist Mold Library, the world's leading Arthurain collection, and are involved in the development of an Arthurian Centre planned for North Wales. They also work as historical consultants for the North Wales tourist board and make many media appearances. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read. 13 Nov 2000
By A Customer
With much cross referencing to back up their claims Steve and Scott have written a very readable and persuasive version of the truth surrounding Arthur and his heritage.
Being a local to the centre of the Afallach realm for the initial part of my life I was particularly interested to read how they dealt with the historic importance of the area and have monitored subsequently the local reaction of the North Wales populus to the revelations conveyed in the book. It has of course triggered much discussion and interest.
The book serves to put into context the current seemingly erroneous myths and legends which have grown up around the Cornwall and Glastonbury versions of Arthur's life and times. The authors' argument is not only logical that the whole episode should be based in Wales but is evidenced by their consistent cross referencing to specific events, source texts and local knowledge. They do not ignore hitherto accepted theories and interpretations but use them to question how the evidence on the ground could possibly support them or indeed be misinterpreted to suit political or monetary interests. I like this approach.
We're not just talking about the misplacement of Arthur here, we're talking about the misplacement, misinterpretation and misdirection of a whole culture. Many thanks for reopening the discussion boys. Geoff.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future classic 18 Nov 2003
The Dark ages and particularly the Arthurian period have always been a bit of a free-for-all and it’s always difficult to know what to take seriously. This applies equally to books written by academics and informed laymen alike.
The basic premise here is that Geoffrey of Monmouth’s translation of Welsh texts (into Latin) in about 1140 mistakenly equated “Britannia” (or Yns Prydein) with “Great Britain” when in fact it referred to the approximate limits of present-day Wales. The error (possibly deliberate) was compounded by translating British (Welsh) place names into phonetically credible English ones. Traditional historians have long pointed out geographical and other inconsistencies in the texts from this period, dismissing them as serious historical accounts, or at best mingling fact with fiction. Blake and Lloyds approach has been to return to the original Welsh texts (or as close to them as possible) examining place names and history in a Welsh context. They make a convincing case in placing Arthurian history into a framework limited to North Wales and the English borderlands, though the fact that this hasn’t been noticed for nigh on 900 years seems beyond belief. That said, they have had a rare combination of an encyclopaedic knowledge of local topography and geography and (presumably) abilities in Welsh, Anglo-Saxon and Latin.

Parts of the book are rather heavy going, with Welsh place and personal names and occasional quotes from heroic poems and other works punctuating the text. Detailed accounts of the local topography are illustrated by sketch maps that are sometimes inadequate or inaccurate. I found myself referring constantly to my (equally inadequate) 1:190 000 road map.
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2.0 out of 5 stars For or against.....where's the evidence? 23 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me declare from the outset that my sympathies lie half way between the authors and that of the reviewer R. A. Williams. I wanted to like this book as I am always receptive to new ideas that challenge the status quo. History is littered with examples of so called 'experts' getting things hopelessly wrong.

I also dislike the yah boo sucks form of criticism offered up by R A Williams – I think it detracts from the argument. But, even though I would never use such dismissive language, I am inclined to agree that the Blake/Lloyd theory is deeply floored.

Sadly, what both sides of the argument fail to do is present credible evidence to back up their assertions. Legends and poetry may pose serious questions but they alone cannot provide answers. Neither is it satisfactory to merely claim that a proposition is wrong because everyone knows the established view is right.

Both camps need to provide credible evidence in support of their beliefs. Not being a scholarly 'expert' on the subject I cannot weigh up the pros and cons myself but I did search online and came across a a critique of 'The Keys of Avalon' by someone named K Matthews. I suggest both sets of protagonists do the same and see how how a rigorous and robust argument should be presented.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid evidence at last! 26 Jun 2000
By A Customer
The book was bought as a present for someone else. However, when I started skimming it I found the detail fascinating and decided to keep it myself!
The book is well written and well laid out. I have read several previous works on Arthur, and their general attitude was that you accepted what was written. This book is different. The authors present the detail in an open and honest manner, and invite the reader to get out there and visit the locations that are indicated. They also offer good listings of their source materials for further verification.
What you end up with is a well produced book that debunks previous theories in a very logical manner. It is clear to see how, in the past, place names and those of people have become confused - often accidently, but sometimes quite deliberately to make places medieval pilgrim (tourist) traps. Questions we all have asked are how Arthur was supposed to get around all these out-lying places with such ease and speed, when in fact these places associated with him are hundreds of miles apart? This book answers such questions. He didn't! Arthur's realm was limited to North and Mid Wales and the Borderlands (Cheshire & Shropshire).
The authors' hard work and research has certainly paid off. The only problem is that I will now have to buy another copy to give as a gift!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 22 days ago by Carmen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love this book
Published 1 month ago by clifford roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of its kind
I've read many books on the "truth" of the Arthurian legends over the course of the years. They all seem scholarly when you read them and yet they all contradict each other. Read more
Published 20 months ago by I. S. Pegler
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating retake of the Arthurian mythos!
Highly recommended. Excellently researched and provocative book! Definitely convinced me that Arthur is originally a Welsh hero. Read more
Published on 3 July 2011 by John Charles Warburton
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
This would be a great detective story, but despite the appearance of being a serious academic text it is not a history book. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Mr. E. Grigg
1.0 out of 5 stars A tottering mountain of absurdity
Not a year goes by without the publication of a new popular book about King Arthur, and while a few are worthwhile, or at least sane, the majority regularly add new extensions to... Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2010 by R. A. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Assesment of an Old Problem
The Keys to Avalon
When I first picked up this book I was very sceptical and thought it to be just another book on Arthur, no doubt dealing with the same textual references... Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars New Arthurian work most convincing to date.
Well, talk about putting the historical cat amongst the pigeons! The Keys to Avalon by first time authors Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd is the result of some 20 years of research,... Read more
Published on 12 April 2000
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