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The Long War for Britannia, 367–664 (Hardback)

Arthur and the History of Post-Roman Britain

British History Military

By Edwin Pace
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 400
Illustrations: 10 mono maps
ISBN: 9781399013758
Published: 29th October 2021
Last Released: 29th June 2022


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The Long War for Britannia is unique. It recounts some two centuries of ‘lost’ British history, while providing decisive proof that the early records for this period are the very opposite of ‘fake news’. The book shows that the discrepancies in dates claimed by many scholars are illusory. Every early source originally recorded the same events in the same year. It is only the transition to Anno Domini dating centuries afterward that distorts our perceptions.

Of equal significance, the book demonstrates that King Arthur and Uther Pendragon are the very opposite of medieval fantasy. Current scholarly doubts arose from the fact that different British regions had very different memories of post-Roman British rulers. Some remembered Arthur as the ‘Proud Tyrant’, a monarch who plunged the island into civil war. Others recalled him as the British general who saved Britain when all seemed lost. The deeds of Uther Pendragon replicate the victories of the dread Mercian king Penda. These authentic--yet radically different--narratives distort history to this very day.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to encounter when I started but I was pleasantly surprised by an informative, well-written and enjoyable work which does an excellent job of detailing a period of British history which is unknown to the vast majority. Whether there are parallels with the mass immigration of our own time remains to be seen but one of the key themes of the book is how subtle the integration process often was over three centuries, as opposed to the traditional image of perpetual war to the knife and on a winner takes all basis.

Unless there is some major new discovery, this is probably as authoritative an account as can be written of this period based on existing source materials and is well worth the effort. Miss Mariott joined her cat many years ago but I remain grateful to both her and ‘Our Island Story’ for starting me on a rich journey through the past over half a century ago and on which Edwin Pace’s ‘The Long War for Britannia’ is the latest highly enjoyable and engaging milestone.

For anyone with even a passing interest in Dark Age Britain, put this book on ‘ze list’. Finally, since I can’t see how it could easily be improved upon, five mushroom heads it is.

Read the full review here

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

As featured in

History of War

As featured in

History of War

Having read the author’s previous book “Arthur and the Fall of Roman Britain” I was interested to see if this current book offered new insights or was a re-hash of the former. It certainly keeps to its objective of an historical narrative of the events of post Roman Britain and in particular the Saxon incursions. It provides good research on the variation of dates from the sources and in particular explains the ‘stepping stone’ date theory in a world not graced with common date systems. Inevitably given the sources and the distance in time there must be some element of informed opinion in pulling together the history but it works well to provide a thoroughly good read on what in other hands could have easily become a turgid and tiring work.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Edwin Pace

Edwin Pace has an advanced degree in European history and honed his analytical skills in a three-decade long career as an intelligence analyst, working for both NSA and GCHQ. He has published half a dozen peer-reviewed articles on various aspects of the research behind this book in the Journal of the Australian Medieval Society and Arthuriana. He has defended parts of his hypothesis in conferences at the University of Boulogne (ULCO), Western Michigan University, and the International Arthurian Society, British Branch. He is the author of a work of popular history, Arthur and the Fall of Roman Britain.

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