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Publishers Weekly, 1986-02-14 Behind the romantic legends of a chivalrous King Arthur and the courtly amours of his circle lies a real historical figure. While scholars have been in general agreement on this point since the 1960s, Goodrich (Ancient Myths makes an intriguing if highly conjectural case that Arthur was a king in prehistoric Britain. She builds a portrait of an Arthur who successfully staved off sea invasions before leaving the coast of Britain in a.d. 542 to be ferried to a secret island for surgery or burial. Goodrich sifts evidence that supports the existence of an actual Queen Guinivere and her vassal Lancelot; she substantiates Perceval's wedding and inauguration at the Grail Castle, which may have been an educational institution for princelings. Her closely argued study draws on fresh readings of medieval French and German texts. The investigation unfolds as a detective story that will grip Arthurian enthusiasts, Anglophiles and history buffs. (April)
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