This work covers three genres of study which are intricately related. The genres of study can broadly be described as firstly; the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth, his Merlin prophecies and his pseudo-history found in the ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ (HRB). The second area of study covers the events that transpired at Glastonbury which involve the disinterment of King Arthur and the appearance of Joseph of Arimathea in Glastonbury lore. Lastly, my exposé covers early Grail literature currently thought to have been composed by Robert de Boron or the muses of Chrétien de Troyes. These three areas of study make up a body of research which is generally referred to as ‘The Matter of Britain’.
There is a pervading commonality throughout this exposé which can ultimately be tested which will show one way or the other whether the points put forward herein are based in truth. To fully understand the contents of this investigation, firstly I have to show that Geoffrey of Monmouth’s HRB was composed by Henry Blois. The quickest way to show this is by investigating the prophecies of Merlin because the current understanding accepts that the Merlin prophecies and the HRB have a common author.
Once ‘Geoffrey’ is understood to be the nom de plume of Henry Blois, it is a simple step to understanding that Glastonbury lore about King Arthur was the brainchild of the Abbot of Glastonbury who was the perpetrator of the Interpolations into William of Malmesbury’s De Antiquitates Glastonie Ecclesie . Then, with that cumulative evidence, it becomes very easy to Identify Henry Blois as the originator of Grail literature where he even leaves the anagram of his name as vanity overcame him. This in turn brings together the anachronistic connection between Joseph of Arimathea and King Arthur at Glastonbury and Glastonbury’s Avalon being connected with the Grail.
The main three questions which embody this study of ‘The Matter of Britain’ are: Did King Arthur really exist or did ‘Geoffrey’ invent the ‘Chivalric King Arthur’? How did Joseph of Arimathea legend start at Glastonbury abbey? How did Grail literature reflect upon king Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea and why does this body of literature relate to an island called Avallon and Glastonbury Church?
No scholar has undertaken to find a definitive solution to the ‘Matter of Britain’, but by keeping our three genres of study unconnected, modern scholars have missed how indeed the roots of all three evolved primarily from one man. Norris J lacey thinks that an apathy exists among scholars of the Grail because they have become sceptical that the origins of the Grail can ever be discovered. I call it complacency and arrogance!!
My aim in elucidating the mess created by modern scholarship is achieved in the main by uncovering fraudulent works authored and concocted by Henry Blois; the prime instigator of the rich tapestry of medieval Arthurian material. Some of these works include the impersonation of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Caradoc of Llancarfan, Wace and others that have had their works interpolated by Henry Blois such as William of Malmesbury.
I have no intention to distort the implications of what is reliably known. The problem is nothing is reliably known. I try to steer away from ill-founded or undocumented assertions, but at the same time, many of the views in this exposé run contrary to accepted theories put forward by modern scholarship; many of which are shown to be founded on incorrect a priori, empirically built upon over the last 200 years. Without identifying ‘who’ Geoffrey of Monmouth really is, no solution to the ‘Matter of Britain’ can be found!!
The three genres which are the subject of our investigation span more material than that which is commonly accepted as a tolerable area of expertise in the realms of scholarship i.e. the large mass of research lie outside the scope of a doctoral thesis; thus, in the past much overlapping material has been ignored. Empirical deductions and conclusions have become misleading and an overall solution to the three areas of study has evaded modern scholars. To the present era this seminal yet at times erratic work is the first understandable and workable solution to the riddle that became ‘The Matter of Britain’. Without linking all three genres of study, the seemingly disparate nature of their underlying commonality will not be discovered. It is my intention to uncover a lie1 which has far reaching ramifications when exposed.
1Cicero. The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth.
The common denominator in all three genres mentioned in this investigation i.e. Arthuriana, Glastonburyalia, and early Grail literature is Henry Blois.
Commentators interested in Arthuriana recognise the genius of Geoffrey of Monmouth. The authorial genius is in fact Henry Blois. Geoffrey of Monmouth is a nom de plume. Until this fact is understood by scholars such as Julia Crick, (our authority on ‘Geoffrey’) who, like others before her, attempt to create an impression of Geoffrey and understand his work; the reasons for the publication of HRB will remain hidden.
It is also plain to see that Crick never contemplates Henry Blois as the author of the Life of Gildas or suspect his interpolations in William of Malmesbury’s DA; even after stating:
the ultimate explanation for the historical and hagiographical creations of William of Malmesbury and Caradog of Llancarfan probably lies in the reduced circumstances in which Henry Blois found the monastery(Glastonbury) in the 1120’s…
It will become apparent to the reader that the concept of the Island of Avalon is a product of Henry Blois. This island originally was an Island called Ineswitrin donated to Glastonbury in 601 AD and is an Island on which the remains of Joseph of Arimathea are buried to this day. This can only be understood by ploughing through the quagmire of evidences left behind by Henry Blois.
My main intent is to expose the fraudulent authorship of several works back in the twelfth century which were concocted wholly or interpolated by Henry Blois, the Bishop of Winchester, Abbot of Glastonbury and brother of King Stephen. This work exposes the existence of an Island in Devon, today called Burgh Island and its connection to Joseph of Arimathea and a tin mining heritage existing into antiquity and this becomes evident in progression once the certain foundation is set which accepts that Henry Blois composed the History of the Kings of Britain.