The Historical King Arthur: Fact and Fiction is a book that revolutionizes our understanding of Britain’s history and early literature. It begins with a compelling demonstration of ‘King’ Arthur as no figure of legend, but a flesh-and-blood warrior of the sixth century. He was not a ruler, but a North British champion fighting other North Britons during the terrible ‘volcanic winter’ of 536-7, and dying a soldier’s death in the latter year at (as long accepted by scholars) Camlan or Castlesteads on Hadrian’s Wall. Arguments for this are followed by chapters on Arthur in the literatures of medieval Britain. They include dramatic proof on the Arthurian romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, using evidence set out by the US scholar Ann Astell to identify its author as the Cheshire magnate Sir John Stanley (d. 1414), who will have written it in late 1387 for Christmas revels that year at Chester Castle. Solving problems which have baffled scholars for centuries, The Historical King Arthur: Fact and Fiction is a volume that will for all time change our views of Britain’s past.
Arthur, Celts, Arthurian Romance, The ‘Gawain’ Poet, Sir John Stanley
About the Author
ANDREW BREEZE (FSA, FRHistS) was educated in Kent at Sir Roger Manwood’s School, Sandwich, and at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Since 1987 he has taught at the University of Navarre, Pamplona. Married with six children, he is the author or co-author of six books, including The Origins of the ‘Four Branches of the Mabinogi’ (2009), British Battles 493-937(2020), and The Historical Arthur and the ‘Gawain’ Poet (2023). His England’s Earliest Woman Writer and Other Studies on Dark Age Christianity is forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle.