Local Place and the Arthurian Tradition in England and Wales, 1400-1700
Title Details

342 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 maps, 2 colour and 5 b/w illus.

Series: Arthurian Studies

Series Vol. Number: 92

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Local Place and the Arthurian Tradition in England and Wales, 1400-1700

by Mary Bateman

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
The first in-depth study of Arthurian places in late medieval and early modern England and Wales.

Places have the power to suspend disbelief, even concerning unbelievable subjects. The many locations associated with King Arthur show this to be true, from Tintagel in Cornwall to Caerleon in Wales. But how and why did Arthurian sites come to proliferate across the English and Welsh landscape? What role did the medieval custodians of Arthurian abbeys, churches, cathedrals, and castles play in "placing" Arthur? How did visitors experience Arthur in situ, and how did their experiences permeate into wider Arthurian tradition? And why, in history and even today, have particular places proven so powerful in defending the impression of Arthur's reality?

This book, the first in-depth study of Arthurian places in late medieval and early modern England and Wales, provides an answer to these questions. Beginning with an examination of on-site experiences of Arthur, at locations including Glastonbury, York, Dover, and Cirencester, it traces the impact that they had on visitors, among them John Hardyng, John Leland, William Camden, who subsequently used them as justification for the existence of Arthur in their writings. It shows how the local Arthur was manifested through textual and material culture: in chronicles, notebooks, and antiquarian works; in stained glass windows, earthworks, and display tablets. Via a careful piecing together of the evidence, the volume argues that a new history of Arthur begins to emerge: a local history.
Introduction: Place and the defence of Arthur
1. 'Thise were his places and his habitacions': Arthur in situ in the fifteenth century
2. Contentious places: Reconciling Arthurian places in the fifteenth century
3. The Best of the West: John Leland's West Country Arthur
4. Locating Arthur in England and Wales: John Leland, John Prise, and Elis Gruffydd
5. Placing Arthur in William Camden's Britannia
Coda: Arthur's local renaissance?

MARY BATEMAN is Lecturer in Medieval Literature at the University of Bristol. Her central research focus is the reception and afterlives of the Arthurian tradition and other British mythologies, though she has also published widely on such subjects as trans-European medieval romance, manuscript and book history, and even medievalism in early modern ale culture.

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9781843846581

November 2023

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9781805431381

November 2023

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9781805431398

November 2023

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Title Details

342 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 maps, 2 colour and 5 b/w illus.

Series: Arthurian Studies

Series Vol. Number: 92

Imprint: D.S.Brewer