The History of the Kings of Britain

The History of the Kings of Britain


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The History of the Kings of Britain 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
beelzebubba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Have you ever heard of the Reduced Shakespeare Company? They were a comedy troupe who specialized in abbreviated versions of Shakespeare's plays. Supposedly, they hold the record for the quickest performance of Hamlet, clocking in at 43 seconds. Impressive, huh? No less impressive is Geoffrey of Monmouth. In The History of the Kings of Britain, he blazes through about 2000 years in less than 300 pages (actually closer to 200 when you take out the introduction.)Centuries fly by like seconds, and before you know it, it's 524 AD, and King Arthur has just kicked the bucket. Hey, wait a minute, it wasn't that many pages ago when Julius Caesar was invading Britain!You know who else I thought of while reading this? My grandpa. When I was a little kid, I would sit in rapt attention as he told fascinating, exciting stories from his youth. And I believed every word. I would go home and relate them to my mom, and she would just shake her head. He was a great story teller, but most of it was pure fantasy. Much like ol¿ Geoffrey. When it was written (1136) and up until about the 17th century, it was taken as a bona fide work of history. In fact, most of it is just made up, with a smattering of historical figures thrown in to give it some weight. You would think the story about the two hollow stones at the bottom of a pool which contained two dragons might have tipped them off.He also claims that his book was actually the translation he did of a very ancient book, I suppose to add even more credulity to it. But nope, another whopper. You know, the more I think about it, the more Geoffrey reminds me of a cousin of mine about whom someone once asked, ¿How do you know when Steve is telling a lie? His lips are moving.¿But anyways, aside from suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, and being a compulsive liar Geoffrey could spin a good yarn. Lots of good old bloody battle scenes: heads being lopped off, bodies cut clean in half, ¿ Plus, lots of sex. Well, okay, maybe not lots of it. But what there is, is pretty racy. In this version of King Arthur, Guinevere is getting it on with Mordred while Arthur is off doing battle somewhere. And as you know, Mordred was Arthur's nephew (in this version just his nephew, in Malory's his son/nephew/whatever). Still pretty kinky. So, when all is said and done, a very entertaining read. Just don't expect it to help you pass that English history test.
RogueBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A really fascinating look at pre-historical, Roman, and Dark Age Britain. The stories are generally little-known, but contribute a great deal to modern literature. Recommended for lit geeks. ;)
jcovington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very subtle and clever political attacks on his theologial historian contemporaries.
Elizabeth.Michele on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Assigned in College, very interesting if not a little difficult to get through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Digipress, for these wonderful, affordable editions of classics.
ltesta More than 1 year ago
When I downloaded a sample of this book, I got a sample of Tom Jones instead.
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