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King Arthur

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The many readers who are enthralled with the enduring legend of Camelot will be drawn to this fascinating book, which "may become the definitive work in the effort to prove the historical authenticity of King Arthur."--UPI
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 4th 1989 by Harper Perennial (first published June 1986)
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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
The Arthurian Legend Retold
182nd out of 448 books — 687 voters
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Best Arthurian Fiction
161st out of 387 books — 1,311 voters

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Norma Lorre Goodrich’s main pursuit in “King Arthur” is to uphold the historicity of Arthur the man, as well as to identify the true localities of his kingdom. Traditionally, Arthur’s seat has been placed in southern England, but Goodrich builds an extremely compelling case for putting Arthur’s realm in southern Scotland and North Umbria. If you find ancient British place names magical, as I do, much of the drama of this book will come from Goodrich’s efforts to unlock the landscape of the King ...more
Apr 28, 2016 Kristen_Evelyn rated it did not like it
I'm sorry but I have to give up. I really tried. I hate to leave a book unfinished, but there's just too much wrong with this one. Clearly the author has a lot of personal feeling invested in her theory and it's resulted in some terribly sloppy arguments. It's always "we know Lancelot went here", "we know Arthur was raised in this castle"... Except no, we don't know any of that. She argues that Geoffrey of Monmouth left the abduction of Guinevere out of his otherwise historical account because h ...more
Nov 09, 2010 Cathy rated it it was amazing
This book started my quest for the Holy Grail.
Flint Johnson
Sep 26, 2013 Flint Johnson rated it it was ok
Norma Lorre Goodrich was not an historian! Unfortunately, she wrote like she was. Her reaches into a realm of which she had no real knowledge are painful to me now as a Ph.D. She misused historical sources, she uncritically used fiction as historical sources, and as many have note, she did it with the confidence of a seasoned expert.

The truth is that she was an expert in comparative literatures. As far as word alterations and language changing, she is an expert I used often. In making connection
Jul 09, 2014 Randal rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Amateur Arthur historians only
Shelves: nonfiction
The author makes a pretty good case for situating Arthur as a real king in the borderlands between Scotland and England c. 500 AD. Sadly, the illiterate chieftain of a band of oatmeal savages isn't the most enthralling subject ever.
A slow, pseudoacademic read.
May 11, 2015 Kathie rated it it was amazing
Intriguing book, I completely agree with her theory. A scholarly book on her research into the Arthurian/Merlin history.
Jun 13, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
This book was daunting, but I loved it- fascinating to see her language-based approach to the historical Arthur. Filled with one revelation after another and I was convinced by most of them. I could also see why the historical "establishment" had a hard time with her conclusions. It's not written like a history book, which makes sense since her emphasis is language and literature. She's willing to find a breakthrough and accepts it wholeheartedly. Historians tend to waffle more when it comes to ...more
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
I love the subject matter; the idea of Arthur as a real king is fascinating. However, I couldn't give this book more than three stars because of how much supposing goes on. The author clearly knows what she is talking about - almost too much. I understand that all the characters go together to make the whole story, but I cared far less about Lancelot and Perceval than Arthur. I skimmed some if those passages honestly, as they were not nearly as interesting to me. Even so, this topic will still h ...more
Danae Castro
Sep 22, 2015 Danae Castro rated it it was amazing
the application is very bad that I can not read
Robert Risher
Jul 09, 2012 Robert Risher rated it liked it
Great history lessons mixed with complete eisogetical conjecture, hence the 3 stars. I enjoyed the factual parts of the book that Goodrich could prove, as well as her extensive lessons on the development of language, but much like in her previous book, Merlin, she supposes too much.
Sep 10, 2009 Geoff rated it really liked it
I found out about this book when Norma L. Goodrich died and it was said that she was the foremost researcher about King Arthur, Merlin, Camelot etc... She is most definitely biased towards him being real.
Tome Addiction
Jun 05, 2016 Tome Addiction rated it really liked it
Shelves: arthurian
A historical book on placing the myth clearly in historical prospective.
Mar 07, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it
A real history of King Arthur by a historian. Not for the faint hearted.
Nov 10, 2011 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was really good
Jul 23, 2011 Gloria added it
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Norma Lorre Goodrich, a prolific author, was an Arthurian scholar known for her unconventional theory that King Arthur was Scottish -not English or Welsh. She was a professor of comparative literature and writing for many years at the University of Southern California and the Claremont Colleges.
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