The most complete guide ever to the real Arthurian world and the legends that surround it He defeated the Saxons so decisively at the Battle of Badon that he held the Saxon invasion of Britain at bay for at least a generation. He has inspired more stories, books and films than any other historical or legendary figure.
But who was the real King Arthur? Here is the most comprehensive guide to the real Arthurian world and the legends that surround and often obscure it. Sifting fact from fancy, Mike Ashley reveals the originals not only of King Arthur but also of Merlin. Guinevere, Lancelot and the knights of the Round Table - as well as all the major Arthurian sites.
He traces each of the legends as they developed and brilliantly shows how they were later used to inspire major works of art, poetry, fiction and film. There is clear evidence that. The Arthurian legends arose from the exploits of not just one man, but at least three originating in Wales, Scotland and Brittany The true historical Arthur really existed and is distantly related to the present royal family The real Arthur and the real Merlin never knew each other The real Lancelot was not British but was closer to a sixth-century asylum-seeker The Holy Grail legend probably grew out of a cosmic catastrophe that could have destroyed most of civilization