9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not for the faint hearted,
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This review is from: King Arthur: Myth-Making and History (Hardcover)
This book is a must for anyone studying the Arthurian subject... but be warned, it's not for the faint hearted as it's written in academic way by a most learned professor. It also may not say what you want to hear as Professor Higham casts doubts on the historicity of this most famous of kings, even if he doesn't dismiss the possibility entirely.
What is brilliant about this book is that it puts all the written sources about Arthur in their political and ecclesiastical settings showing that very little of the early writings about him were done purely as a story or a 'history' and that they all had a political agenda behind them. I knew this about Geoffrey of Monmouth's famous work but hadn't realised just how much the work ascribed to Ninnius was the product of Gwynedd's power and the backlash to Bede's anti-British writings.
It's a fascinating rather than a fun read and much of it is hard going but if you stick with it you're certainly rewarded with, not only, gems about the reasons behind the stories of Arthur but a better understanding of the 6th Century world he was thought to have lived in as Nick Higham delves deep into the so called Dark Ages.