The Truth Behind the Legend
Routledge – 2003 – 280 pages
King Arthur is often written off as a medieval fantasy, the dream of those yearning for an age of strong, just rulers and a contented kingdom. Those who accept his existence at all generally discard the stories that surround him. This exciting new investigation argues not only that Arthur did exist, as a Dark Age chieftain, but that many of the romantic tales - of Merlin, Camelot and Excalibur - are rooted in truth.
In his quest for the real King Arthur, Rodney Castleden uses up-to-date archaeological and documentary evidence to recreate the history and society of Dark Age Britain and its kings. He revives the possibility that Tintagel was an Arthurian legend, and proposes a radical new theory - that Arthur escaped alive from his final battle. A location is even suggested for perhaps the greatest mystery, the whereabouts of Arthur's grave.
King Arthur: The Truth Behind the Legend offers a more complete picture of Arthur's Britain and his place in it than ever before. The book's bold approach and compelling arguments will be welcomed by all readers with an interest in Arthuriana.
"Castleden tells an engaging and engaged tale, full of legendary personages, stirring clashes between cultures, and revelations regarding ancient mysteries." - Elizabeth A. Ragan, Salisbury University, Journal of Anthropolical Research
Rodney Castleden has been researching landscape processing and prehistory for the last the 30 years. He is the author of The Making of Stonehenge, The Knossos Labyrinth, Minoans and Atlantis Destroyed.