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Finding Arthur: The True Origins of the Once and Future Kingby Adam Ardrey
Synopses & Reviews
The legend of King Arthur has been told and retold for centuries. As the king who united a nation, his is the story of England itself. But what if Arthur wasn't English at all? As writer and activist Adam Ardrey discovered, the reason historians have had little success identifying the historical Arthur may be incredibly simple: He wasn't an Englishman at all. He was from Scotland.
Finding Arthur chronicles Ardrey's unlikely quest to uncover the secret of Scotland's greatest king and conqueror, which has been hidden in plain sight for centuries. His research began as a simple exploration of a notable Scottish clan, but quickly it became clear that many of the familiar symbols of Arthurian legend--the Round Table, the Sword in the Stone, the Lady of the Lake--are based on very real and still accessible places in the Scottish Highlands.
Sure to be controversial, Finding Arthur rewrites the legend of King Arthur for a new age.
"There is an entire subculture devoted to proving that King Arthur existed and Ardrey (Finding Merlin) adds to the speculation in a selective look at the literature — and some faulty etymology — that leads him to believe that Arthur was not a Christian Romanized Briton but a pagan Scot. Conveniently, Ardrey is a Scot with Scots-Irish roots. He hints that his last name might be from the Scottish Ard Righ or High King, thus linking him to Arthur. Combing through translations of early chronicles and poetry, along with medieval authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth, ChrÃ©tien de Troyes, and Malory, he chooses passages that fit his theory. Name changes and Romanization of characters are simply a plot by The Church to stamp out the old religion; writers as late as Malory were 'not brave enough to put story-telling first and so he bowed to the power of the Church.' Ardrey delves into every linguistic cranny to set each of the battles of Arthur north of Hadrian's Wall. He also concludes that the early writer Gildas suppressed Arthur's story 'because Arthur killed Gildas's brother Hueil.' Ardrey's theory is firmly in the tradition of Arthurian fiction; as with similar work, refuting it point by point would require several volumes. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Adam Ardrey is the author of Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend of the Great Arthurian Mage, also available from Overlook. He is a writer and human rights advocate and has previously worked in television and as an attorney.
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History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History