Geoffrey of Monmouth

A wooden statue of Geoffrey of Monmouth at Tintern Station

King Arthur Pendragon may not have even existed. He was a figure from the mists of Welsh legend and made it into Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of The Kings of Britain which he wrote in the 1100s. Geoffrey was not good at verifying historical facts—or he liked his history fanciful—but he gave us Arthur and Camelot. I’m a hopeless romantic so I like to think there really was a King Arthur.

During the 3 or four centuries after Geoffrey’s book came out, legends and folk tales emerged under the general heading of Arthurian. Figures of Arthur’s court came into being and had their own stories or they were given stories from older lore. Knights went on quests to prove themselves spiritually worthy. They fought wickedness when they found it and offered protection to the powerless. There was a mystical quality that surrounded Camelot and all of Arthur’s Britain—dragons, beasts, enchantments, sorceresses and Merlin the wizard. There was a beautiful young queen.

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

Don’t forget: I wrote another Western Civ User’s Guide! Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space.

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