The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has a fascination which is universal. But the story is not only popular, it is controversial. Historians take diametrically opposed views on its central fi gure, King Arthur, for the written sources are few and diffi cult to interpret with certainty. As a contribution to the debate, this book traces the growth of the legend of King Arthur and its link with the West Country, bringing together archaeology, early and relatively late written sources, tradition and myth. It focuses in particular on the ancient Abbey of Glastonbury and the South Cadbury hillfort, one a possible link with the Dark Age Arthur, the other well known for its exploitation of the hero king and the Grail legend. By seeking to explain the Arthurian legend in its true context, this intriguing volume will interest not only the general reader but also the student of medieval history, archaeology or literature. First published in 1988, this newly revised and updated book contains a great many photos, maps, plans and illustrations, including colour plates.
R. W. Dunning is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author of many books and learned articles on the history of the West Country, and a lecturer on King Arthur.