The History of the Kings of Britain

The History of the Kings of Britain

An edition and translation of the De gestis Britonum (Historia Regum Britanniae)

Geoffrey of Monmouth

Translated by Neil Wright

Edited by Michael D. Reeve


Boydell Press



Text and translation of key Arthurian text - a major source for scholars.
Written in the 1130s, Geoffrey's imaginative history of the Britons from Brutus to Cadwallader, the first work to recount the woes of Lear and the glittering career of Arthur, rapidly became a bestseller in the British Isles and Francophone Europe, with over 200 manuscripts surviving. Yet no critical edition of the main version has appeared since 1929.

This new text, for which 14 manuscripts have been collated in full, rests on a survey of the entire tradition; it is accompanied by a facing English translation, prepared especially for this volume. A comprehensive introduction discusses the status of variant versions, the shape of the main tradition, and many questions of editorial principle; critical notes analyse some problems raised by the transmitted text; and there is a full index of names.

MICHAEL REEVE is Kennedy Professor of Latin Emeritus at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge; Dr NEIL WRIGHT is a Senior Language Teaching Officer at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.


388 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
Hardback, 9781843832065, November 2007
Paperback, 9781843834410, May 2009
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Text and Translation
Index of Names


This fine edition will serve to make Geoffrey's Latin much more accessible and no doubt spur further research. Neil Wright's translation is graceful and precise. (...) It is wonderful to have a reliable Latin edition and translation of this important work priced for the library of the individual scholar and student. JOURNAL OF MEDIEVAL LATIN
Reeve's new text, a collation of 11 of the most important manuscripts, is probably the best we've had since Geoffrey put his pen down, and it makes much previous scholarship redundant. A definitive work for scholars. TOM SHIPPEY, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

Author Bio

Director of Research, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge

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