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The Battles of King Arthur (Hardback)

British History P&S History Royal History

By Tony Sullivan
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399015301
Published: 30th May 2022

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RRP £25.00

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The ninth century Historia Brittonum is the first source that mentions Arthur and lists twelve battles, including the famous Badon Hill. Much ink has been spilt debating the identity and location of Arthur. This book will demonstrate that some of the battles can indeed be located with some confidence. Rather than fit a specific theory as to his identity the battles are placed in the fragmenting provincial, political and military context of the late fifth and early sixth century Britain. At a time of rapid changes in cultural identity and a significant increase in Germanic material culture and migration.

These battles might be expected to be found along borders and in zones of potential conflict. Yet this is not what is discovered. In addition the simplistic idea of Romano-Britons holding back invading Anglo-Saxons is found wanting. Instead we discover a far more nuanced political and cultural situation. One with increasing evidence of continuation of land use and the indigenous population. The most Romanised and urbanised regions of the south and east are the very areas that experienced the arrival of Germanic settlement. The conclusion gives the reader a new insight into what sort of man Arthur was and the nature of the battles he fought.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Mr Sullivan has written a most profound book on who was Arthur and what were his deeds in the far past of Britain. I was amazed at the information and scope of experiences that Arthur and his followers experienced. What is even more fantastic about this book is that it actually makes use of records and lots of theories ad puts them together in a fascinating story! The list of Arthurs battles is impressive. To be honest I never understood what or how such a person could perform in so many battles and seem to be nothing more than a legend. After reading this exceptional work I understand why he fought and what we know about the battles. Fans of Arthur and history buffs will love this as well as anyone looking to understand Britain of long ago.

NetGalley, Patrick Carmen

The ninth century Historia Brittonum is the first source that mentions Arthur and lists twelve battles, including the famous Badon Hill. Much ink has been spilt debating the identity and location of Arthur. This book will demonstrate that some of the battles can indeed be located with some confidence. Rather than fit a specific theory as to his identity the battles are placed in the fragmenting provincial, political and military context of the late fifth and early sixth century Britain.

As a history lover, King Arthur is one historical figure that I knew very little about prior to reading this book. So I was delighted to be granted my wish to read an advanced review copy of ‘The Battles of King Arthur’ by Tony Sullivan, who has written several books on King Arthur. It’s a wonderful trip back in time and very interesting to read a non fiction account of a figure who is so popular in myths and legends! I will definitely be checking out Tony Sullivan’s other books. I’d recommend this to anyone who is a lover of history or for anyone who, like myself, went into the book quite unfamiliar with the legendary King Arthur. A wonderful read.

NetGalley, Carrie M Lack

About Tony Sullivan

Tony Sullivan lives in South East London with his wife and three children. He started his writing career after thirty one years in the London Fire Brigade. His first book, King Arthur, Man or Myth was published in 2020. This latest book concerning the battles of King Arthur follows one investigating the historical reality behind the 2000 film, Gladiator, and another concerning the life of the Roman soldier Lucius Artorius Castus.

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