A Brief History of King Arthur

  • by Mike Ashley
  • Narrated by Mark Meadows
  • 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Who was the real King Arthur? What do the historical documents tell us about the Knight of the Round Temple? It is just a chivalric fantasy? The story of Arthur has been handed down to us by medieval poets and legends - but what if he actually existed and was in fact a great king in the early years of Britain's story? Mike Ashley visits the source material and uncovers unexpected new insights into the legend: There is clear evidence that the Arthurian legends arose from the exploits of not just one man, but at least three originating in Wales, Scotland, and Brittany. The true historical Arthur really existed and is distantly related to the present royal family.
Mike Ashley is the author of the best-selling Brief History of the Kings and Queens of England and has been fascinated by the story of King Arthur for decades. He lives in Chatham, Britain.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

an interesting book, but maybe not what you think

Would you consider the audio edition of A Brief History of King Arthur to be better than the print version?

Yes, i could see the print book of this being quite dry. Although it may be easier to keep track of places, people and dates having them visually. But the narrator's enthusiasm keeps you interested.

Would you recommend A Brief History of King Arthur to your friends? Why or why not?

i don't know any friends who are interested in King Arthur, but then nor was I, so I suppose yes, I would.

What about Mark Meadows’s performance did you like?

Mr Meadows reas, what is essentially a dry list of dates, names and incidents with clarity and importantly, emotion. what could be very dull is turned into something that keeps you engaged.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's a fact based book so there is little emotional connection although you do get drawn into the 'quest for Arthur' and curiosity is definitely aroused.

Any additional comments?

This book is an investigation of the time period, people, places and documents of the Arthurian legend (note not the romantic/fantasy Arthur, but the real Arthur that those legends are based on). The book explores the various historical records, folk tales and legends and distills facts from each that can be verified, theories that can be supported and flights of fancy or coincidences where necessary. the first 3 quarters of the book is a compilation of these different records including people, battles, places etc. It's tough going but has some interesting insights into the time period and how Britain was broken up.

However the last quarter brings everything you've heard previously into focus as the various 'Arthurs' are investigated, compared to the details you have heard and leaves you with enough background to draw your own conclusions. The author presents his own, compelling conclusion, but this is not a book of answers, it's more the background necessary to ask questions.

Just be prepared to be patient for the payoff of the information overload of the first parts of the book.

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- J. Armstrong

not ideal for audio

this is an interesting subject, and presented well. however, it is not suitable for audio. too many times there were lists of names from a table. too many times there were references to previous sections. my recommendation is to get a physical copy of this book.
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- GhostMuppet

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-02-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios