This seminal new study explores how and why historians and writers from the Middle Ages to the present day have constructed different accounts of this well-loved figure.
N. J Higham offers an in-depth examintaion of the first two Arthurian texts: the History of the Britons and the Welsh Annals. He argues that historians have often been more influenced by what the idea of Arthur means in their present context than by such primary sources
King Arthur: Myth-making and History illuminates and discusses some central points of debate:
* What role was Arthur intended to perform in the political and cultural worlds that constructed him?
* How did the idea of King Arthur evolve?
* What did the myth of Arthur mean to both authors and their audiences?
King Arthur: Myth-making and History is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the origins and evolution of the Arthurian legend.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. A King out of Time: Arthur in the twentieth century 2. The Genesis of Arthur 3 . Contested Histories: Anglo-Saxons and Britons c.730-830 4. Text in Context: The Annales Cambriae c. 954 5. The Rise and Fall of the 'Historical' Arthur 6. Postscript: The Rhetorical Arthur
N. J. Higham is Professor of Early Medieval and Landscape History at the University of Manchester and a Fellow of the society of Antiquaries. His recent publications include (Re)Reading Bede: The Ecclesiastical History in Context and he is the editor of Britons in Anglo-Saxon England (2007).
'This thought-provoking volume is worth reading' - Guy Halsall, THES
'Higham's survey is an admirably measured and wide-ranging contribution.' - Ecclesiastical History