Finding Camlann: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

A compelling argument about the origins of King Arthur wrapped in a brilliant novel.


Set against a rich historical landscape evoked by the secret places and half-forgotten legends of the British countryside, Finding Camlann is both a "fascinating mystery that will engage readers attracted by history, myth and language" (Washington Independent Review of Books) and a "beautifully written, intelligent, and ...
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Finding Camlann: A Novel

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Overview

A compelling argument about the origins of King Arthur wrapped in a brilliant novel.


Set against a rich historical landscape evoked by the secret places and half-forgotten legends of the British countryside, Finding Camlann is both a "fascinating mystery that will engage readers attracted by history, myth and language" (Washington Independent Review of Books) and a "beautifully written, intelligent, and ingenious" (Gillian Bradshaw) novel of how stories shape our notions of the past—and of ourselves.

Archaeologist Donald Gladstone is sure that there never was a "real" King Arthur—that is, until a surprising find at Stonehenge seems to offer hard evidence of Arthur's existence. Teaming up with Julia Llewellyn, a gifted linguist working at the Oxford English Dictionary, Donald sets off on a literary and mythological quest that will change both of their lives. Gloriously many-layered, Finding Camlann is a deeply satisfying love story, a gripping detective story, and a narrative journey of myriad pleasures.

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Editorial Reviews

Rebecca Goldstein
“Finding Camlann delivers a wallop of pleasure to both the head and the heart. It is suffused with an irresistible sense of mystery, its many paths, whether to the unknowable past or to the inner truth of those we love, disappearing into swirling fog.”
Matthew Pearl
“Sean Pidgeon has given us an experience so rich and engrossing that attempts to slow my reading to savor the novel longer were foiled by the fact that I couldn't put it down. If you are not already excited by the fascinating legends and vibrant scholarship around King Arthur, you will be once beginning Finding Camlann.”
Gillian Bradshaw
“Beautifully written, intelligent, and ingenious, with an unusual lyricism and a wonderful feeling for the depth of time.”
Iain Pears
“Finding Camlann is a lovely book, simultaneously an emotional and a historical journey. It finds new things to say about the legend of King Arthur, and says them in a touching and compelling contemporary tale of love.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393089707
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 552,372
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Sean Pidgeon is a reference publisher at John Wiley&Sons. Born and raised in the UK, he now lives in New Jersey with his American wife and children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2013

    An intriguing story

    Finding Camlann is a beautifully crafted story of intrigue that fully involves the reader in the quest for the origins of King Arthur. With superb descriptions of everything from homey British pubs to majestic castle ruins, the reader is transported to England and Wales, and forms a genuine interest in the people involved in the story. People who relish mysteries and puzzles will enjoy trying to keep one step ahead of Donald and Julia, the protagonists of the story. I am not a student of British history, so I found the appendices at the end of the book to be very helpful in keeping track of the chronology and the people behind the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will be the next one my book club reads.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    Pidgeon, Sean. Finding Camlann (W. W. Norton 2014).   This novel

    Pidgeon, Sean. Finding Camlann (W. W. Norton 2014).  
    This novel provided me with a slow reading experience as it offered a story framed around oral traditions
    commemorating ancient Welsh fighters, including none other than King Arthur, doing battle against English
    overlords. An important sub-theme in the story is that while many people might consider Arthur an
    Englishman the author emphasizes that, if Arthur ever lived, he may have been a son of Wales more than
    anything else.
     
    The search for Camlaan, supposedly the place where Arthur died in battle, plays as a background motif
    for the leading character, an Oxford archaeologist, driven to write about the 6th century hero. He is the son
    of a family rooted near the English-Welsh border where Arthur may have campaigned, if he did exist, and so
     this encourages him to pursue his historical/archaeological investigation.
     
    The author seems to make adequate use of the scan references that appear to be available for history buffs
    seeking to vivify Arthur. These seem to take the form of ancient, Welsh bardic verse supposedly rescued
    from monastic abbeys long destroyed by time. 
    A budding romance is written into the forefront of the story involving the archaeologist, of course, and a
    woman linguist working for the people who bring us the much revered Oxford dictionary. 
    I stuck with this slow moving story because I wanted to learn something about Arthur and I believe I did
    in the end. It was worth it. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    The aesthetic of the novel is decidedly academic, and therein li

    The aesthetic of the novel is decidedly academic, and therein lies its greatest strength. Pidgeon eschews modern technology, in support of a tone that places value in the pleasure one gets from the slow unraveling of great mysteries -- and mysteries this great deserve to be savored. Every layer of the narrative, the characters, the history, and (oh!) the landscape, is pensive and thoughtful in its being.




    The thing to keep in mind, more than the fact that the novel is lovingly researched, is the compelling way that research is woven into the narrative. A tremendous amount of historical information is thrown at the reader, but never once did I feel adrift. The plot while complex is evenly paced, and pivots on characters that are subtly drawn, likeable, intelligent, and self-aware without being self-involved. I thought the inter-play between Donald & Julia's emotionally confusing entanglement, and the rich intellectual diversions they create, was as engaging as it was believable. Highly recommend this one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Great read

    I too found this novel reminescent of ASByatt's Possession. I loved the characters, the setting and the blend of suspence, romance and myth. I can't wait to read Pidgeon's next work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    I was anticipating reading this novel.  It was disapointing.  Lo

    I was anticipating reading this novel.  It was disapointing.  Long paragraphs of superflous description that made
    following the plot difficlt and drudgery at times.  I find myself agreeing with the Kirkus review.  Very disapointed.



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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