Who is the man who says he is King Arthur? Read The Trials of Arthur Revised Edition

King Arthur draws the sword from the Stone

King Arthur Pendragon - the Sword and the Stone
King Arthur Pendragon - the Sword and the Stone

Who is King Arthur Pendragon?

Just about everybody has heard of the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table but perhaps you are not aware that there is a man around today who calls himself King Arthur Uther Pendragon and believes he is the reincarnation of the Celtic chieftain. Well, there is and a book about him too!

He is also a Druid and an Eco-warrior, no stranger to controversy and exposure in the media, and a mysterious figure to many who do not understand what he is about, or why he would call himself King Arthur and dress so flamboyantly. Arthur wears a white druid robe with a red dragon on the chest area, he often sports a cloak or cape of some kind, he has a silvery metal circlet on his head, a full bushy beard and long greying hair, and he even carries a sword, the modern Excalibur.

The Trials of Arthur is a book that really explains how the man who was once John Timothy Rothwell came to change his name by deed poll and take on the mantle and role of being King Arthur. It was published by Thorsons/Element in 2003 but has since gone out of print. It was written as a collaboration between C.J. Stone and Arthur Pendragon. Now a new revised version has been put together. The first book was very good indeed but this new one is so much better because The Trials of Arthur: Revised Edition, now available from Amazon Kindle, is the book that Stone really wanted to write. This is the real story of the "nutter who calls himself King Arthur," and the reasons why he does so!

The Trials of Arthur cover

The Trials of Arthur book cover.
The Trials of Arthur book cover. | Source

Professor Ronald Hutton supports King Arthur

Co-author C.J. Stone wasn't happy with the first edition of the book but is very pleased with the new version. It has seven additional chapters and an extra 20,000 words.

It also has a foreword by well-respected English historian Ronald Hutton who has often supported Arthur Pendragon in the past, including in a court case that landed Arthur on the front page of The Guardian newspaper when he was given Excalibur back. He had commented at the time that just as the "King Arthur of old" had drawn his sword out of a stone, he had taken his from the "stonework of London."

The book now starts with a chapter that takes you right into the action and right into the strange world in which Arthur lives. It is the story of a knighting ceremony that took place one Halloween, or Samhain as it is called by Druids and Pagans, on the summit of a mountain in West Wales where a saint once lived and talked to the angels.

If all of that wasn't strange enough, the man who was being knighted had adopted the role of this past Welsh saint just like Arthur had taken on the mantle of the legendary king or chieftain. It makes you wonder how often this sort of thing happens, but happen it does!

J. R. R. Tolkien author of Lord of the Rings

You see, I was there too, so can vouch for the reality of the strange and magical story which even involves Arthur fighting a "psychic battle" with "Ring-wraiths", some of the evil characters from the J.R. R Tolkien fantasy books. He was protecting a damsel in distress called Megan, who had travelled all the way from Nova Scotia and just happened to have ended up on this mountain peak on a night in which the barriers between the worlds are thought to be at their weakest. It was a night in which the spirits from the other side can come through into this one!

As Stone points out this is a story in which the leading characters are archetypal but were taking part in a real incident. It illustrates well how Arthur's life encompasses several worlds at the same time. He is living the life of a "once and future king" but in the now!

The archetypes in question were a King, a Bard (myself), a Damsel in Distress, and a Saint. And there were evil forces too even if they came out of the pages of a book!

Samhain to Summer Solstice

That this incident was set at the time of Samhain introduces us to the Pagan calendar which the book also makes reference to in subsequent chapters.

The Trials of Arthur: Revised Edition reveals what prompted a man who has also been a serviceman and a foreman for a construction company, as well as the leader of a gang of bikers, to take on the role of being King Arthur.

Of course, this has often not been easy. Arthur's life as the legendary king but in modern times, has had many trials and tribulations and trials in court, after he has been arrested for any number of offences but has often won his case. He became known to the media for getting arrested every year for breaking the so-called "exclusion zone" at Stonehenge. But because he did all that the stones are now open to the public for Summer Solstice.

King Arthur Uther Pendragon interviewed

In conclusion

The Trials of Arthur: Revised Edition is simply not like any other book you are going to read. But then there is no one else like its central character!

Arthur has been described as an eco-warrior, a biker, a road protester, a Druid leader and a self-proclaimed king! He delights in being in the news because it gives him a platform to get his message across. King Arthur is a self-confessed "media tart" but with a very good reason for being one.

Arthur has often said that if anyone else can come along and make a better job of being King Arthur then he will step down but as this isn't happening he is the only one we have. In The Trials of King Arthur: Revised Edition you can join him in his adventurous and magical but, at the same time, a very down-to-Earth life.

The book is humorous in parts but also carries important political and social commentary on life in the UK in the nineties and since then. It shows the serious side of a very colourful character, who is not afraid to live life as he wants to and to take on battles he really believes he can win. And he says that if he can do all this, that anybody can!

© 2012 Steve Andrews

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Comments 19 comments

CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Thanks for writing this review Steve, and I'm glad you enjoyed the rewrite of the book. As you say, this is the book I really wanted to write way back in the 90s when I first started on my quest to find Arthur. Hopefully some of your readers will think so too.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad you like it, Chris! Thanks for posting! I thought I would say a bit about the opening chapter because it is an important part of the book and one I know very well because I was in the story described!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Which means you can verify it as based on truth Steve. Some people might not believe it.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I think I already have, Chris!


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

Fascinating story. And I like how the King wields that sword: Both literally and metaphorically.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Nate!


khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 4 years ago from London,UK

It's the nice book of 90's. As per the review is also fabulous. This post enhanced my restless nature to read this book once more.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you! I am glad you have read the original edition!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

The book came out in 2003, though most of the action is from the 90s. There's a facebook page with a free sample chapter. The new version is much better than the old version: at least in my humble opinion it is.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Facebook link just added, Chris!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

Thanks Steve. I'm sitting in the Bell Inn, Winterbourne Stoke near Stonehenge. Going to spend the day with Arthur at the stones tomorrow to interview him in preparation for a new article.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Give Arthur my very best wishes and regards and tell him I think I may be coming back to the UK eventually, all going well.


LA Elsen profile image

LA Elsen 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

Thanks for writing this hub. I had never heard of the new "Arthur". This is very interesting and the book sounds like a good read.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for commenting, LA! I am glad you found this of interest!


aslanlight profile image

aslanlight 4 years ago from England

I think I met King Arthur at the Stone Henge festival many years ago. If he's the guy that spoke to the media for the convoy when they were being persecuted it was probably him. He was in the next tent to me and we spoke about metaphysical changes that were occurring at the time.

I've read C.J.Stone's book and it's a must read classic in my opinion!


aslanlight profile image

aslanlight 4 years ago from England

By the way seeing as people are taking on roles I'm (and have been for some time) King Arthur's dragon. You'd be amazed at what us dragons can do!!!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for your comments, Aslanlight!


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

This book sounds interesting. I read The Mists of Avalon about 2 years ago, and was enchanted with the story of King Arthur's Court, told from the perspective of the women Priestesses in his life. I would like to read it. I also bought a Tarot Deck called The Arthurian Tarot, but haven't had time to study it yet to learn if there are too many differences in reading it. Thanks for describing the book!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I hope you enjoy it if you go ahead and get this book! Thanks for posting!

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