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King Arthur: The Dream of a Golden Age

By Geoffrey Ashe

British historian Geoffrey Ashe is the world’s leading scholar of the Arthurian myth. He has written a number of books studying every angle of this compelling figure. Here he turns to a recurring feature of the legend: the idea of a golden age, presided over by the heroic king and his handpicked knights of the round table — itself a symbol of unity and inclusion, with no one man sitting at the head.

The myth of Arthur, his wife Guinevere, the magician Merlin, and the court at Camelot was so strong that it held sway over the imagination of poets and artists for centuries. In this accessible study, Ashe looks at the origins of the story, then takes us right through to the modern age and his reemergence in fiction, films and musicals. He posits that the secret of his vitality lies in his relation to a perennial myth or dream — one that takes a variety of shapes in legend, religion, and even politics.

As Ashe explains, it is the myth of a lost, and better, society which makes this iconic legend so fascinating end explains its enduring appeal.

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