Letter: Baseless claims to the throne of England

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ENGLISH distortion of historical fact and the miscasting of figures from other traditions is a remarkable and resilient trait.

For example, Arthur, 'Dux Bellorum' of the lowland Welsh, fought and defeated the invading English. But this historical reality was unpalatable to the English, so Arthur had to be mythologised, or - if his existence could no longer be denied - transmuted into an 'English' king. A curious fate indeed when we recall that he led the defence of post-Roman, Welsh Britain - to stop it becoming England.

Peter Jukes's article ('The Last of England', Review, April 18) does a similar disservice to another Celt, this one not even authenticated by history. On the strength of Shakespeare's play, Lear, for Jukes at least, becomes yet another 'English king'.

In fact he is filched from Celtic mythology - 'Llyr' in Welsh, 'Lir' in Irish. Whatever he may or may not have been, he was no king of the English, not even a figure from Anglo-Saxon legend.

Royston Jones

Gwynedd, Wales

Comments