Readership: All those interested in Arthurian legend, the 'real'
King Arthur, and the mysteries and history of the Dark Ages.
Guy Halsall, Professor of History, University of York
Guy Halsall has taught at the universities of London and York, where he has been a professor of history since 2003. His early specialism was in the history and archaeology of the Merovingian period (c.450-c.750), and he has since published widely on a broad range of subjects: death and burial, age and gender, violence and warfare, barbarian migrations, and humour. This investigation into the 'worlds of Arthur' brings him back to the study of early medieval British history and archaeology with which his scholarly training began.
"Guy Halsall's expert debunking of Arthur in Worlds of Arthur is hard to beat for forensic examination of the evidence and carefully reasoned and convincing conclusions." - Hugh Andrew, Glasgow Herald
"The strength of this work lies in robust academic understanding of current evidence for 5th-and-6th-century Britain, presented in a pithy, engaging, and accessible manner. Gildas, Bede, the Historia Brittonum, and other documentary sources are treated to rigorous-but-fair scrutiny; Halsall does not cherry-pick texts that conveniently fit his theory. Archaeological evidence is given equal emphasis, employed with flourish." -
"[Guy Halsall] has produced a brilliant portrait of Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries, drawing on literary and archeological sources to challenge almost every orthodoxy of the age. Those who desire a surprisingly witty, intellectually rigorous and historically captivating journey deep into the crucible of medieval Britain will enjoy this book immensely." - Dan Jones, Sunday Times
"Worlds of Arthur manages to be both scholarly and readable. It is a considerable achievement." - Times Literary Supplement
"Guy Halsall is a rarity - not only an Englishman at home abroad, but also a historian
who can handle archaeology with equal deftness. He writes engagingly and isn't afraid to say what he thinks. This is a fantastic book which deserves to sell thousands of copies, not only to academic early medievalists but also to fantasy junkies lured by the clever cover." - British Archaeology Magazine
"This is a highly accessible discussion of the history and archaeology of Britain between AD 400 and 600, aimed both at contesting the many recent 'real-Arthur' histories and at re-examining the ways in which scholars across the last century or so have interpreted the evidence from this period. The result is a highly stimulating, generally lucid and exciting
discourse, delivered with wit and verve" - N.J. Higham, Society for Medieval Archaeology
"an exciting book" - Anne Lawrence-Mathers, History
1: The Story of 'King Arthur'
2: The Matter of Arthur: the Traditional Narrative
3: Swords in the Stones: the Archaeology of Post-Imperial Britain
4: The Antimatter of Arthur: Reassessing the Written Sources
5: Continuity or Collapse? The End of Roman Britain
6: Beyond Brooches and Brochs: Rethinking Early Medieval British Archaeology
7: Red Herrings and Old Chestnuts
8: The Matter of Arthur: Changing the Framework
9: Rethinking the Anglo-Saxon Migration and Setttlement (1): When Did the Anglo-Saxons Come to Britain?
10: Rethinking the Anglo-Saxon Migration and Setttlement (2): The Nature and Scale of the Migration
11: Fifth and Sixth Century Politics in Britannia
12: The End of the 'World of Arthur'