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helenliz

helenliz

The History of the Kings of Britain

The History of the Kings of Britain - Geoffrey, Michael A. Faletra I'm uncertain of how to file this. It's presented as history, but that's slightly "history" in the sense that Herodotus wrote "history" as well. It is and it isn't. It purports to tell the history of the kings of Britain, from the founding of the nation by Brutus, to the point at which the Saxons gain dominance. In places it's clearly fiction - the prophesies of Merlin & tales of King Arthur are clearly not FACT. but that's not to say that the entire book should be dismissed so lightly. It's one of those books which has influenced so many other piece of work that parts of it you know without ever having read it before. For example, the section where King Arthur was summoned to pay tribute to Rome & takes umbrage is clearly closely related to the source material for the poetical version to be found in [b:The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation|10955086|The Death of King Arthur A New Verse Translation|Unknown|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1302208933s/10955086.jpg|20963433]. This is the oldest source for the king Arthur myth where his life is presented and he's portrayed as a King of the Britons. That being the case, it has an enormous impact on a significant portion of English Literature thereafter. It's also the first known source for the stories of King Lear & Cymbeline, which were referenced in various works that ended up in Holinshed's Chronicles, which Shakespeare "borrowed" from.The cover notes that this is the "food & drink of poets and provocative goad to historians" and I think that does it justice. it doesn't fit the modern interpretation of the term "history" but it was written to serve a purpose and we can only assume (with the prevalence of 12th to 14th century manuscripts) it served that purpose admirably. the notes with the book put it into context and also makes notes on Geoffrey's sources and other references. I did have to shift my mindset while reading this, from a non-fiction to a story point of view, but I still enjoyed it.