Feeds

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

By the Lord Harry, etc, etc

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.