Sunday, July 24, 2011

How I got there

My book series, Chasing History is centered on the myths and legends of King Arthur and his round table.  It encompasses the legends of Excalibur, Guinevere and Lancelot and their romance and the great wizard Merlin and his role played during those times.  

The first book in the series, Wizard of Time, centers on Excalibur and the legend of the Lady of the Lake.  I first become enamored of this era with all the romance surrounding Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot as well as Mordred, Morgan Le Fay and all the fables and tales that came from them.  As I tried to do some serious research into King Arthur specifically I was finding so many conflicting stories.  Many famous historians from that time period include Arthur Pendragon in their listings of Kings.  However, even to this day, I’m told that King Arthur and specifically Camelot didn’t exist. 

This allowed my imagination to run wild.  The stories of Excalibur too were varied.  Did Arthur Pendragon pull the sword from the stone to claim the kingship or did the Lady of the Lake give it to him, blessing it and his kingship or did both happen? 

I turned to Wikipedia, it being the utmost expert in history (tongue in cheek).  Keep in mind I didn’t want to prove one way or another for sure if Arthur, et al existed, I was looking for rumors so my research is a bit biased.  If you are interested in follow up on this era, here are a few names to consider.  Geoffrey of Monmouth’s c. 1136 Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) states that Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, loses it and the Lady gives it back, blessing it. Gildas-de-Rhuys polemic De Excidio Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain) from the 6th century doesn’t even mention King Arthur or his reign. 

In Merlin’s case, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain states Merlin had no power but another famous poem (Merlin) by Robert de Boron labels Merlin a ‘shapeshifter.’  Mystery also surrounds Guinevere; did she or didn’t she marry Mordred?  The Vulgate Cycle from the early 13th century says no but Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia (mentioned above) says she did.  Both are reputed sources for history of that era. 

See why I was so fascinated?  Who says I can’t be right, too!

first published by Greg James on his blog G.R. Yeates 7/18/11

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