Anglo-Norman, Arthurian Legend, Christianity, Early Middle Ages, Empress Matilda, England, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Geoffrey Plantagenet Count of Anjou, Henry I, High Middle Ages, Historiography, History of the Kings of Britain, King Stephen of Blois, Literature, Normans, Robert Fitzroy 1st Earl of Gloucester, Twelfth Century
Many Motives: Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Reasons For His Falsification of History
John J. Berthold
History B.A. Theses, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, (2012)
This paper examines The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, with the aim of understanding his motivations for writing a false history and presenting it as genuine. It includes a brief overview of the political context of the book at the time during which it was first introduced to the public, in order to help readers unfamiliar with the era to understand how the book fit into the world of twelfth century England, and why it had the impact that it did. Following that is a brief summary of the book itself, and finally a summary of the secondary literature as it pertains to Geoffrey’s motivations. It concludes with the claim that all proposed motives are plausible, and may all have been true at various points in Geoffrey’s career, as the changing times may have forced him to promote the book for different reasons, and under different circumstances than he may have originally intended.