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Keys to Avalon: The True Location of Arthur's Kingdom Revealed based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The Keys to Avalon When I first picked up this book I was very sceptical and thought it to be just another book on Arthur, no doubt dealing with the same textual references and coming to grossly fantastic conclusions. How nice it was to be wrong. I should point out that after many years of reading Arthurian and Dark Age history, very little impresses me, but never the less, impressed I was. For once I did not have to wade through the same stuffy and safe references to Arthur (as far as the standard line is concerned) with authors frightened of rocking the historical boat, nor put up with the other extreme of late antiquarian nonsense and numerous Arthur¿s from varying periods. The two things that first strike you about the Keys to Avalon is (a) how knowledgeable the authors are of there subject matter and (b) that they put forward for the first time a very convincing alternative for the location of Avalon. As anyone familiar with the Glastonbury material is well aware the Avalon stories were taken from somewhere else. The difficulty has always been from where did Glastonbury get its Avalon additions. Blake and Lloyd have put forward what I consider to be the strongest case yet in regard to where this material originated. This book is a brave attempt to address some of the many problems that litter this period of history. As I turned the pages I became more and more enthralled as to the picture the authors put forward. That Britannia referred to Wales from at least the ninth century is relatively well known, but the authors take this evidence much further suggesting by implication that it was in use well before that date. Admittedly I agree with them on their premise that virtually all the references to Britannia speak of Wales but I do think the discussion could have reinforced this point more forcefully, as no doubt the Authors must be aware that for some time it has been fashionable to try and make Geoffrey¿s ¿ancient book¿ that he used for his source to have come out of Brittany. I also think that they should have covered the background to Geoffrey¿s source in more detail for those not versed in the background to this specific problem, the origins of the ¿ancient book¿ have been debated for centuries and a brief outline of these discussions would have been useful. Having said that I found myself more than happy with the fact that the debate about the sources of Geoffrey¿s History being put back on the historical agenda and that although the debate will always be a tie (unless any new manuscripts come to light) the evidence certainly suggests that the authors suggestions should be taken seriously. The reappraisal of the geography of the dark ages within the pages of this book not only works but make sense of a lot of other period evidence unused by the authors in this work and it was a pleasure to read and digest. I have re-read the book four times now and each time I find something new that questions the ¿accepted¿ view of this period and as a avid historical reader I was delighted to see that the art of the true historian is not dead. By which I mean that it is only thanks to those that push the boundaries of the accepted view that further our knowledge, if not for the likes of Wade-Evans (who first put forward the Brittannia argument and who I was glad to see was given a dedication by the authors) we would still believe the world was flat, and for this approach alone the book is well worth buying. For too long the problems that the present ¿understanding¿ of this period create have been swept under the historical carpet and the out of site out of mind policy adopted towards them, and it is brave men indeed that challenge orthodoxy in a public arena. To sum up the book has many merits, it is full of material that has for to long been ignored and although I cannot agree with everything put forward by the authors it is the most convincing case I have ever read for an historical Arthur and the origin of