Feeds

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

By the Lord Harry, etc, etc

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

French historians are risking a visit by gunboats bearing the white ensign after declaring King Arthur an English legend promoted for "political reasons".

That's according to the organisers of "King Arthur: A Legend in the Making" - a forthcoming conference and exhibition at Rennes university which will "provide ample evidence that the Arthurian legend has continually been updated, often as a sop to English nationalists attempting to revive the Age of Chivalry", as the Telegraph puts it.

The event's curator, Sarah Toulouse, explained: "King Arthur is a mythical character who was invented at a certain point in history for essentially political reasons. If he had really existed there would be more concrete historical traces of him."

Ms Toulouse elaborated that the myth of Arthur extends back into the depths of history, with several versions enjoying continent-wide popularity. "These stories deal with universal themes. The earliest fragments of the tales can be traced back to Wales in the seventh century. But by the 13th century stories based on the Arthurian legends were being told right across Europe."

For example, the Telegraph explains that "the tale of a knight repelling the hated Anglo-Saxons from Britain's West Country in around AD500 has always been popular in northern France, with Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table particularly popular with the Bretons".

Furthermore, Sir Lancelot was "said to have been raised in the mysterious Broceliande forest in the heart of Brittany by Viviane, the Lady of the Lake who kidnapped him as a young child".

However, Toulouse mercifully stopped short of staking a French claim to Arthur, admitting: "It would be out of the question for us to say that."

She concluded: "Arthur was an English King who united all of the Britons - in the British Isles and in Brittany - against the Saxons." ®

Bootnote

I recently introduced my daughter to John Boorman's magnificently silly Excalibur in an attempt to assure her that English history and culture had more to offer than one World Cup win and a Saturday night on the alcopops. Ominously, she seemed most impressed with Morgan Le Fay, meaning I might have to up her pocket money before she uses the Charm of Making.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.