23 September 2013

Camelot - Castles Customs & Kings Blog Hop


'Camelot.... Camelot! A most congenial spot...'

…. Except of course, IF Arthur had existed, and IF he had a headquarters it would not have been a castle with flags waving from the turrets,  a drawbridge and portcullis, a bailey – stone walls, dungeons (and no dragons). The romantic view of King Arthur’s Camelot is a fairy-tale type castle, with knights in armour, swooning ladies with pointy hats, a magician or two stirring potions in a cauldron and jousting in the courtyard – oh and a round table in the magnificent tapestry-adorned Hall.

Cadbury - Camelot!

Sorry to disillusion. Apart from the fact that no one is certain whether Arthur did exist or not, if he had been a bona-fide, genuine, historic character he would have lived in the late fourth or early fifth century Britain, between the going of the Romans and the coming of the Anglo-Saxon English.

His realm would have been Britain – that’s the area we today call England and Wales, possibly the lowlands of Scotland as well.
In Arthur’s time, the Welsh were Britons, the Scots were Irish, the English were German and the Romans were… well, in general, from anywhere apart from Rome! Englalond (England - Angle-land) as a single Kingdom under one King (Athelstan) did not exist until much latter - 927 in fact!



And Arthur’s ‘Castle’? It would have probably been a semi-derelict Roman Fort, or a re-vamped iron-age hillfort.

Cadbury Castle, Somerset
Cadbury Castle in Somerset is a leading contender, and the place I used for Arthur’s main fortress in my Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy. Excavations discovered that the place was indeed occupied in the Arthur’s period (again assuming he did exist!)  Tintagel, in Cornwall is another favoured location, and this, too, was occupied in the ‘Dark Ages’ of the fifth century – but there has never been anything found to prove that the lord who lived there went by the name of Arthur.

Tintagel
Camelot is first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, dating to the 1170s (and I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Lancelot is an imaginative figure of twelfth century Romantic Fiction – he did not exist in reality.)
The poem does not suggests the high importance that Camelot would have in later tales. Here, Arthur's court was  Caerleon in Wales, cited as the King's primary base in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae. This Arthur is a typical medieval monarch, holding court in a number of castles. Only in the thirteenth century do we see the French romances including Camelot as a grand seat of a noble and just King Arthur.

Tintagel
I doubt that we will ever know the truth, but while there are authors, poets, artists and actors, Arthur – and Camelot - will never be forgotten!

But perhaps the best view of Camelot is this one .... Enjoy!




Click > for more information, excerpts etc about the Pendragon's Banner Trilogy

Giveaway! (competition closed)
The competition winner was Robin Dalton - congratulations! 


                  

The Pendragon's Banner Trilogy
Castles, Customs and Kings Blog Hop!
Be ye Knight, Lady or Squire - travel onward on Progress 
through the Noble Realm of Blog Hop 
to thy next destination 

Castles to visit : 

1. Gillian Bagwell - Castles Customs and Kings Blog Hop
2. Maria Grace - Castles 101
3. Susanna Calkins - Winchester Palace
4. Helena Schrader - Cathars, Castles, and Crusades
5. Grace Elliot - Carisbrooke Castle
6. Linda Root - Ferniehirst
7. Katherine Pym - Whitehall Palace
8. Deborah Swift - Sizergh Castle
9. Teresa Bohannon - Cardiff and Caerphilly Welsh Castles 
10. Scott Higginbotham  - Rhodes Castle
11. Maggi Andersen - Highcliffe Castle
12. Lauren Gilbert - Hampton Court
13. J. A. Beard - Porchester Castle
14. Sandra Byrd - Allington Castle
15. Debra Brown  - Castello di Amorosa
16. Katherine Ashe - Kenilworth Castle
17. Elizabeth Ashworth - Pontefract
18. Nancy Bilyeau - Stafford Castle
19. Peter St. John - Evacuation
20. Helen Hollick - this page

The Castles, Customs, and Kings Blog Hop
 - to celebrate the release of


“...a fountain of knowledge penned by wordsmiths with a passion for the past.”
–Helen Hollick, novelist 

A compilation of essays from the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book provides a wealth of historical information from Roman Britain to early twentieth century England. Over fifty different authors share hundreds of real life stories and tantalizing tidbits discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.

From Queen Boadicea’s revolt to Tudor ladies-in-waiting, from Regency dining and dress to Victorian crime and technology, immerse yourself in the lore of Great Britain. Read the history behind the fiction and discover the true tales surrounding England’s castles, customs, and kings!

Buy From:
Amazon: US $19.95
Amazon : UK £13.50



40 comments:

  1. I would very much like winning a copy of The Kingmaking. lindaroot8@gmail.com.

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  2. Love this post - have RT and shared. As an avid reader of all genres - and writer of only one - it's fascinating to read yet another genre not yet explored

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    1. Thank you Judith - that is one of the things I like about Blog Hops, you have a chance to explore something new and different.

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  3. Thank you so much for the fascinating information and the giveaway!
    smhparent at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thank you Susan for visiting my blog - enjoy the entire hop!

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  4. Excellent post, Helen. I loved visiting Tintagel. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

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    1. would you believe I haven't been there yet? My daughter & her partner went there (hence the photos) but a visit is still on MY to do list!

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  5. I love this stuff! You have to wonder if there was an Arthur. I'm not inclined either way, but there sure is a strong desire in the air for him to existed- well, in an ivory tower, not a heap of ground.

    Thanks for joining the blog hop, Helen!

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    1. I think there was a war-lord with a name that was similar to Arthur (Artos perhaps?) but he would only have been a local leader - not the great King of later stories. That's no reason not to write more stories about him though!

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  6. I have The Kingmaking so I would love to win Pendragon's Banner. Thank you!
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

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  7. Wonderful post Helen!! I imagine we will never know whether there really was a King Arthur or Camelot...but like you said as long as there are talented storytellers out there, the romance will never be lost...thank you!!
    momkelly2003@yahoo.com

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    1. thank you Kelly - if nothing else King Arthur has been a wonderful source of inspiration for many (many!) years!

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  8. I would love a copy of The Kingmaking. I love to begin a novel knowing it is part of a series!! Thank you for your post on Camelot... one of those mysteries we will never solve, but the buildings and the landscape is breathtaking!

    Thanks for your post and hosting the giveaway,

    mosthappyreader (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I too love discovering a new series - so sad when you come to the last one though! LOL

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  9. Posted from Facebook - Loretta Livingstone said: "Tried to comment. Never mind. Gotta sign in with Google. Great article though."

    Thanks Loretta - you are added to the list of entrants for the giveaway!

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  10. Discussed the wonderment of your Aurthurian Trilogy with a cousin just yesterday! He'd watched "Excalibur", and stated, "he had cried at the end"...thus, I said...read Helen Hollick's superb Trilogy and prepare yourself once again!! Thank you for Camelot!

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    1. Thank you Lynn - I do wonder if my books should all come with a free box of tissues!

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  11. Great post, Helen. The Arthurian legend is the stuff that dreams are made of. Whether Arthur lived or not, he and his court inspired great literature.

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  12. Wonderful post, would love to read this book. I have always been fascinated with the Arthurian legend.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Margaret - Arthur is a fascinating subject isn't he?

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  13. I believe Arthur did exist maybe not as a King but a tribal leader - there were so many tribes around in the Saxon/Viking/Jutes etc times that one name must have survived

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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    1. Yes I agree Vesper - someone must have sparked the myth!

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  14. If they found Richard III, then one day they might find evidence of the real King Arthur. But even if they don't, we will never tire of reading about him and his times. Thank you for the giveaway.
    denannduvall@gmail.com

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    1. Unfortunately there is probably more evidence to show that Arthur _didn't_ exist - and in some ways I prefer it like that as it leaves a door wide open for fiction writers to make it all up!

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  15. A beautiful post. And as for whether Arthur existed or not ...if some things didn't exist they need to be invented (or words to that effect!)
    PS Mabs is beautiful, reminds me of my first cat, Skate.
    G x

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    1. I agree Grace - and making it up can be even more rewarding than finding the reality!! I've a bit more about my other cat, Sybil, here : http://leaningonthegate.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/the-seeking-of-shrew.html
      Mab has decided she doesn't want a pet dog - or a pet cat, so she has left home to live in her own apartment - the hay loft. When she decides she wants a cuddle she smells deliciously of hay! (and has grown a really thick coat!)

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  16. Great post with fabulous photos. Having been to Tintagel three times now, it still makes my romantic heart beat a bit faster. Also, in today's post I received my copy of Castles, Customs and Kings. I am off with faeries and their castellans ;-)

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    1. I must visit Tintagel one day! And I guarantee you'll enjoy CC&K!

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  17. Really enjoyed your post, especially the book trailer and clips from the movie Camelot. I could live with not believing there was ever really a Camelot, but I believe in Arthur! You have brought him to life so vividly in The Kingmaking and Pendragon's Banner (haven't read Shadow yet) there's no doubt in my mind at some point in time, somewhere in Wales (maybe not Camelot), the magnificent Arthur reigned.

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    1. Thank you Denise - I agree with you (I do believe there was a war lord Arthur) I'll warn you now *laugh* you will need a box of tissues for the end of Shadow!

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  18. I am really enjoying Pendragon's Banner and would love to win Shadow of the King. Love your posts, Helen~! msdotgeneralleeatgmaildotcom

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  19. I tried to enter to win, but I couldn't. I would love to win a copy of your book, Helen.

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    1. Posted by Eveleyn - who contacted me via Facebook - thanks Evelyn!

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  20. Ah, Arthur - isn't it fun to have intriguing characters who may or may not have existed. Gold dust for novelists. Please enter me - margaretskea@hotmail.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Margaret - your name is in the hat!

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  21. The giveaway competition winner was ROBIN DALTON - congratulations, and sorry to everyone else who left a comment - maybe next time?

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Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear immediately, but Blogger sometimes chucks its teddies out of the cot and has a tantrum (especially if you are a Wordpress person) If you are having problems, contact me on author@helenhollick.net and I will post it for you.
However, SPAMMERS will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...

Helen