'Author Eric Walmsley crafted an intriguing chronicle of King Arthur’s life as he was able to determine it from ancient literature and a search of possible battle sites. This is not a typical story of King Arthur and Merlin, of sorcery and witchcraft. It is very much a fictional, but completely believable docu-drama of King Arthur. On the positive side, Walmsley did an excellent job of explaining this focal time in British history and in describing life in this time period. On the weak side were endless descriptions of places and names that had me running to look up maps until I gave up, realizing that what was important was to get a feel for the compass points to understand where armies marched and to be able to tell if a location was in Ireland, Wales, England or Scotland which was relatively easy to do once a got more into the book. In addition, some of the dialogue was weak, but the positives far outweighed the negatives and I recommend this book to anyone interested in history, particularly British history.'
by Steve G
The legend of King Arthur is known in some form to most people, and has had so much literature written about that it’s quite astonishing. The real man likely lived sometime in the fifth century, but within hundred years of the man’s death – whenever it actually was – people began writing about him over the centuries and up to the present day. Not just biographies and supposed factual historical accounts, but plenty of fiction and historical fiction speculating on the period and what sort of man King Arthur truly was. In reality, it’s very unlikely he was ever actually an official king, but more of a great general for the Britons.
In King Arthur’s Battle for Britain, Erik Walmsley provides an accounting on Arthurs twelve battles pulling from sources like Nennius and Gildas, as well as many others be they short accountings or pieces of poetry. He also creates the scene and story with each battle, adding description and action, but also providing geographic detail and photos, as well as a brief history of the region. The book begins with introductory chapters on Arthur, who the man might’ve been, as well as the evidence that speaks for him, then a dedicated chapter for each battle with maps showing likely locations.
The one failing with King Arthur’s Battle for Britain is that as great of a story as Walmsley tells, he doesn’t cite his sources so readers aren’t sure what primary or secondary source he is getting certain information from, or whether he’s just adding his own fiction to create a stronger scene. Eric Walmsley is not a medieval historian, but he has researched this period and the sources for this book. While what he posits in King Arthur’s Battle for Britain needs to be taken with a grain of salt, it is nevertheless a plausible explanation for events recorded in these unconfirmed secondary Arthurian sources and who the man known as Arthur might have truly been like.
by Alex Telander