Universal Stockton Header Stockton Home page Visitors Admissions Office Academic Affairs Search Stockton Stockton Site Map
Spacing Pixel

Frederick Lees

Arthuriad of Catumandus, The


This novel, originally published by a Hong Kong company, now deservedly under consideration for re-publication by a major UK publisher, originally came to me by accident, having been found shelved as a primary historical source document in a bookshop. No doubt if the manuscript of The Arthuriad had really been found in Egypt in 1969 as the Preface suggests, there would have been considerably more fuss in the media than there was about the engraved slate recently found at Tintagel in Cornwall. Lees starts from the perfectly valid premise that if a document written in the lifetime of the 'real' Arthur were to exist then it is more likely to be found in the surviving writings of the literate and 'civilised' Eastern Empire and not in the melting pot of the illiterate west where the Pax Romana had completely broken down in the face of Saxon barbarian invasions. So here we have the eyewitness account of one Catumandus - Cadfan in Welsh - born in 471 AD near Lugdunum (Lyon) as a result of a brief liaison between his mother and a young and charismatic warrior in the army of the British leader Ambrosius Aurelianus -the young warrior's name, Arthur. Ostensibly on a diplomatic mission from the court of the Eastern Emperor, the young adult Catumandus is sent to Britain where Arthur, now war leader himself, is struggling to hold the British tribes together and stem their internecine tendencies and keep the Saxon invaders at bay. This is the Arthur story set on a global scale where the struggles of Britain are one piece in a political jigsaw of world-changing proportions. Equally contentious is the often vicious conflict between pagans and the differing belief systems of the early Christian church where accusations of heresy make convincing excuses for treachery, betrayal and the seizure of power. Lees not only creates a brilliant, if flawed, character and an entirely believable interpretation of the myth but sets it in a world convincingly built on the knowledge gained from recent historical, archaeological, theological and linguistic research. It is a magnificent achievement and certainly deserves literary recognition and success through mainstream publication. - Towse Harrison From The Historical Novel Review (May 1999), published by the Historical Novel Society

- Towse Harrison, 5/1/1999

Authors & Reviews Home

[ Home | First Time Users | Purpose | What's New | Reviews ]

For Comments or questions regarding this web site, contact Fred Mench