Monday, August 11, 2014

The History Of The Kings Of Britain

Monmouth traces the history of the British realm from the alleged founding by Brutus to the arrival of the Saxons about two thousand years later. Included in this history are legendary figures such as: Lear, Lud, Cymbeline, Merlin, and King Arthur. Monmouth writes what the kings were known for, the wars they were part of, and their lineage.

Monmouth's history is a interesting combination of myth and fact. While many of the details seem mythic, there is likely some truth to some of the claims made about the various kings he writes about. Some of the more interesting tales were how Brutus is suppose to be descended from Aeneas(Trojan hero descended from Aphrodite and Prince Anchises), connecting the Britons to the Greeks and to a goddess. There are giants and dragons that some of the kings encounter. There is a whole section about King Arthur. Monmouth's passion for the Arthur legend comes through as he relates his version of the Arthurian tale.

The book dragged in some spots, but it is worth continuing on to learn about some of these legendary figures. The mythical aspects of the story bothers some people, as it claims to be a history book, but I think if you read it with an open mind you will be able to appreciate Monmouth's account. Read it as you would a saga or a myth where the lines between history and myth are blurred, and you will enjoy the more fantastical elements that are included.

Fans of old legends and myths will find things to enjoy in this book. I recommend giving it a try.

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