Geoffrey Ashe is an internationally known historian, author and lecturer who writes extensively in the areas of British history and mythology. In his career, he has written more than 20 books and has contributed numerous articles to scholarly publications. He has held visiting professorships at seven American universities and has been involved with television projects related to King Arthur and British mythology in the capacity of advisor, interviewee and commentator.
He was the co-founder and secretary of the Camelot Research Committee, the group responsible for the 1966-70 excavation of Cadbury Castle, a strong candidate for the site of King Arthur's Camelot. Mr. Ashe enjoys wide public recognition and acceptance of his works and is arguably the pre-eminent popularizer of the history and legends of King Arthur in the world, today.
We met with Geoffrey Ashe for the first time in Glastonbury, Somerset, in early April, 1995. Our meeting took place in the sitting room of the George and Pilgrims Hotel, a medieval hostelry which had been constructed to accommodate pilgrims to the famous abbey, there. We spent a fascinating day talking about King Arthur and touring some of the Arthurian sites in and around Glastonbury.
Mr. Ashe had been a favourite of ours, for years. We had read a number of his books and were impressed with what he said and the way he said it. He presented his material in an engaging, conversational way. His writing made the legends and the locales come alive in a way that the more "scholarly" books don't. In recent years, there have been many new theories about the "true identity" of King Arthur and, quite frankly, some of them are pretty off-the-wall. Ashe's ideas, on the other hand, are derived from a careful evaluation of existing historical material combined with a willingness to think unconventionally, when conventional thinking leads to a dead end. Unravelling the mystery of King Arthur at a distance of 1,500 years is uncertain and difficult work, at best, and one should not be too dogmatic about the conclusions one reaches. To us and to many others who have read his books, though, Geoffrey Ashe provides a solution to the problem that makes alot of sense.
Our association has continued and we are pleased to present Mr. Ashe to you. He was interviewed by Britannia publisher, Rod Hampton.
David Nash Ford was formerly history editor for the now defunct online British history magazine, britannia.com.
|© The Estate of Rod Hampton 1995. All Rights Reserved.