1191. During excavation work at Glastonbury Abbey, an ancient leaden cross is discovered buried several feet below the ground. Inscribed on it are the words: Hic iacet sepultus inclitus rex arturius...: Here lies buried the renowned King Arthur.
Beneath the cross are skeletal remains. Could this really be the legendary King Arthur and his queen, Guinevere? As the monks debate the implications of this extraordinary discovery, the bones disappear - spirited away by the mysterious Guardians, determined to keep King Arthur's remains safe until the legend is fulfilled and he returns to protect his country in in the hour of its greatest need.
A missing right hand. A gang of ruthless bodysnatchers. Brother accused of killing brother. As the secret of the bones' hiding place is passed from generation to generation, those entrusted to safeguard the king's remains must withstand treachery, theft, blackmail and murder in order to keep the legend intact.
- - In which Philip Gooden describes how at Glastonbury Abbey in 1191 the remains of King Arthur are believed to have been discovered.
- Act One
- - in which Susanna Gregory describes how the bones are stolen during a violent skirmish between the Welsh and the invading Normans.
- Act Two
- - in which Bernard Knight relates how in 1282 a band of patriots retrieve the relics after the darkest day in Wales's history.
- Act Three
- - in which a chance encounter with a pardoner and quack healer causes problems for my old friends, Keeper Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, Simon Puttock and the church.
- Act Four
- - in which Philip Gooden's player Nick Revill becomes involved with Arthur's bones, William Shakespeare's younger brother and a murder at the Tower of London.
- Act Five
- - in which Ian Morson recalls how rumours of Napoleon Bonaparte's escape revives the old myth of King Arthur's return.
- - in which Bernard Knight returns to an archaeological dig near Tower Bridge, where the experts find something unexpected in the foundations of Bermondsey Abbey.
King Arthur's Bones was published by Simon & Schuster on June 1st 2009, with a simultaneous release in hardback and trade paperback. The mass market paperback will follow in May 2010. You can order it now from Amazon:
- Order the paperback edition from Amazon or ask your local bookshop to order it for you, quoting the ISBN: 978-1-8473-7346-5.
- Order the hardback edition from Amazon or ask your local bookshop to order it for you, quoting the ISBN: 978-1-8473-7345-8.
- Now also available in a mass market paperback edition, from Amazon or ask your local bookshop to order it for you, quoting the ISBN: 978-1847393654.
There is also an audio edition of the full text, read by Paul Matthews and published by Whole Story Audio Books (click the link to go their web site, where you can listen to an excerpt).