Here lies entombed the renowned King Arthur in the island of Avalon.
– Inscription found at Glastonbury in the late 12th century
King Arthur most probably never existed and if he did we know precious little about him, and yet he is one of the most famous Britons, while Excalibur and Camelot are perhaps the world’s best known sword and castle, and Hollywood doesn’t tire of returning to the world of Arthurian romance – another major movie is to be released in 2016. So, what’s the truth behind King Arthur? How did the legends take hold? And why have they endured for so long?
Long before the Marvel Universe there was the universe of Arthurian romance and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table examines the fact and the fiction behind Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, Guinevere, Galahad, among others, as well as the quest for the Holy Grail. Beginning in the 12th century, the book explores what factual basis there is for the tales and how the characters, stories and motifs developed through histories, epic poems and prose tellings. The book also charts the revived interest in Arthurian romance in the 19th century and considers how the tales still hold the popular imagination today.
Illustrated with more than 180 colour and black-and-white artworks and photographs and maps, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is an expertly written account of where literature, mythology and history meet.