Sunday, 31 July 2016

King Arthur

  I have become completely intrigued by the story of King Arthur. It is the mix of history and legend that is fascinating. Geoffrey of Monmouth started to popularise his life in the twelfth century and so many writers have picked up on that account and added characters, themes and detail. Something about him stirs the imagination and appeals to people of all centuries.
  Yet he has also attracted scholarly interest as academics and archaeologists try to establish where he was born, lived and died - if, indeed, he existed in reality. Any place with connections to him has become a tourist centre and the concepts of the Round Table and the Holy Grail are deeply etched in our minds.
  I am intent on reading the various versions of the narrative (probably in translation!) to see who has embellished the skeleton provided by Geoffrey. This image of him enthroned is from a set of tapestries depicting the Nine Heroes (French, late 14th century) and I have taken it from the Bellerophon Book outline, checked the colours and filled it in. His tunic shows the three crowns of England, Scotland and Brittany.
   My research on King Arthur will be posted in stages on my history blog about visits you can make by bus in Monmouthshire as there are good reasons for associating him with South East Wales, particularly Caerleon.

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