Historia Regum Britanniae

Historia regum Britanniae called De gestis Britonum, is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written around 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It chronicles the lives of the kings of the Britons over the course of two thousand years, beginning with the Trojans founding the British nation and continuing until the Anglo-Saxons assumed control of much of Britain around the 7th century, it is one of the central pieces of the Matter of Britain. Although taken as historical well into the 16th century, it is now considered to have no value as history; when events described, such as Julius Caesar's invasions of Britain, can be corroborated from contemporary histories, Geoffrey's account can be seen to be wildly inaccurate. It remains, however, a valuable piece of medieval literature, which contains the earliest known version of the story of King Lear and his three daughters, helped popularise the legend of King Arthur. Geoffrey starts the book with a statement of his purpose in writing the history: "I have not been able to discover anything at all on the kings who lived here before the Incarnation of Christ, or indeed about Arthur and all the others who followed on after the Incarnation.

Yet the deeds of these men were such that they deserve to be praised for all time." He claims that he was given a source for this period by Archdeacon Walter of Oxford, who presented him with a "certain ancient book written in the British language" from which he has translated his history. He cites Gildas and Bede as sources. Follows a dedication to Robert, earl of Gloucester and Waleran, count of Meulan, whom he enjoins to use their knowledge and wisdom to improve his tale; the Historia itself begins with the Trojan Aeneas, who according to Roman legend settled in Italy after the Trojan War. His great-grandson Brutus is banished, after a period of wandering, is directed by the goddess Diana to settle on an island in the western ocean. Brutus lands at Totnes and names the island called Albion, "Britain" after himself. Brutus defeats the giants who are the only inhabitants of the island, establishes his capital, Troia Nova, on the banks of the Thames; when Brutus dies, his three sons, Locrinus and Albanactus, divide the country between themselves.

The story progresses through the reigns of the descendants of Locrinus, including Bladud, who uses magic and tries to fly, but dies in the process. Bladud's son Leir reigns for sixty years, he has no sons, so upon reaching old age he decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril and Cordelia. To decide who should get the largest share, he asks his daughters. Goneril and Regan give extravagant answers, but Cordelia answers and sincerely. Goneril and Regan are to share half the island with their husbands, the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall. Cordelia marries Aganippus, King of the Franks, departs for Gaul. Soon Goneril and Regan and their husbands rebel and take the whole kingdom. After Leir has had all his attendants taken from him, he begins to regret his actions towards Cordelia and travels to Gaul. Cordelia restores his royal robes and retinue. Aganippus raises a Gaulish army for Leir, who returns to Britain, defeats his sons-in-law and regains the kingdom. Leir rules for three years and dies.

They imprison Cordelia. Marganus and Cunedagius divide the kingdom between themselves, but soon quarrel and go to war with each other. Cunedagius kills Marganus in Wales and retains the whole kingdom, ruling for thirty-three years, he is succeeded by his son Rivallo. A descendant of Cunedagius, King Gorboduc, has two sons called Ferreux and Porrex, they quarrel and both are killed, sparking a civil war. This leads to Britain being ruled by five kings. Dunvallo Molmutius, the son of Cloten, the King of Cornwall, becomes pre-eminent, he defeats the other kings and establishes his rule over the whole island. He is said to have "established the so-called Molmutine Laws which are still famous today among the English". Dunvallo's sons and Brennius, fight a civil war before being reconciled by their mother, proceed to sack Rome. Victorious, Brennius remains in Italy. Numerous brief accounts of successive kings follow; these include Lud. Lud is succeeded by his brother, Cassibelanus, as Lud's sons Androgeus and Tenvantius are not yet of age.

In recompense, Androgeus is made Duke of Kent and Trinovantum, Tenvantius is made Duke of Cornwall. After his conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar looks over the sea and resolves to order Britain to swear obedience and pay tribute to Rome, his commands are answered by a letter of refusal from Cassivellaunus. Caesar sails a fleet to Britain, but he is overwhelmed by Cassivellaunus's army and forced to retreat to Gaul. Two years he makes another attempt, but is again pushed back. Cassivellaunus quarrels with one of his dukes, who sends a letter to Caesar asking him to help avenge the duke's honour. Caesar besieges Cassivellaunus on a hill. After several days Cassivellaunus offers to make peace with Caesar, Androgeus, filled with remorse, goes to Caesar to plead with him for mercy. Cassivellaunus pays tribute and makes peace with Caesar, who

Amy Bourret

Amy Jo Bourret was an American attorney and author. Her best known work is the novel and Other Liars. Bourret was born in Colorado to Carole Wedemeyer Bourret and John Lowell Bourret, she attended schools in Salt Lake City, Kansas City and Houston, graduated from Spring High School in 1980. She enrolled in Texas Tech University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1984, she graduated from Yale Law School in 1987 and was clerk for the Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, she was an associate at the Dallas Office of Baker and Botts and was a partner at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart. In school and in her practice, she did pro bono work for child advocacy organizations, she found she was unable to be a full-time child advocate and so worked in corporate law before she retired to become a writer. From a young age, Bourret wrote about a recurring theme in her work, she lived for several years in Santa Fe divided her time between Aspen and Dallas, Texas. She died of lupus.

Mothers and Other Liars was Bourret's debut novel. It is about a woman who raises the child as her own. Years she is forced to confront this secret, her work for child advocacy organizations was part of. Official website Macmillan Page Interview with Amy Bourret BlogSpot Interview

Tim Benjamin

Tim Benjamin is an Anglo-French composer. He won the Stephen Oliver Trust's Prize for Contemporary Opera, for his first opera The Bridge. Tim Benjamin grew up in North London and attended Christ's Hospital school, he studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music under Anthony Gilbert with Steve Martland and with Robert Saxton at the University of Oxford. He lives in West Yorkshire. Benjamin composes chamber-sized one-act operas for performance in small theatres and non-standard spaces, his first opera The Bridge won the Stephen Oliver Trust's Prize for Contemporary Opera in 2010. His second opera, The Corley Conspiracy, was performed in September 2007 at the Southbank Centre, London, his opera Emily was first performed at the Todmorden Hippodrome in July 2013. His opera Madame X was performed at the Grimeborn 2014 festival, his twin operas Rest In Silent Jack were performed at the 2015 Tête-à-Tête Festival. In 2015, Benjamin founded the Steve Martland Scholarship for young composers at the Sound and Music Summer School, in honour of his former mentor.

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