Finding Camlann

A literary mystery, a romance, and an exploration of the origins of Celtic mythology.

Oxford archaeologist Donald Gladstone has dedicated himself to discovering the truth behind the legends of King Arthur. Donald’s studies of the medieval Arthurian sources, the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth and the romance tradition of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur have convinced him that there is no solid evidence of a real King Arthur who lived in the Dark Ages after the fall of Roman Britain, much less the wizard Merlin, Arthur’s sword Excalibur, his castle Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Donald’s chance meeting with linguist Julia Llewellyn is followed by a dramatic announcement from an archaeological team working near Stonehenge and another, quieter discovery in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

Lured by the beguiling Julia and the verses of an old Welsh poem, Donald finds himself a pilgrim in a many-layered historical landscape evoked by the secret places and half-forgotten mythology of Celtic Britain. His journey will take him to Tintagel, Glastonbury, the borderlands of Wales, and finally to a magical setting in the heart of the Welsh mountains where the real Arthur comes at last within his reach. Continuing the Arthurian literary legacy of T. H. White, Rosemary Sutcliff, Mary Stewart, and Bernard Cornwell, Finding Camlann is an intellectual and emotional journey of myriad pleasures: a literary mystery and adventure in the tradition of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth that brings together medieval history and Celtic myth, sweeping the reader into the mysteries of the past.

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“Sean Pidgeon has given us an experience so rich and engrossing that attempts to slow my reading to savor the novel longer were foiled by the fact that I couldn’t put it down.”

—Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Technologists

“Finding Camlann had me by the throat from the first page and I surrendered unconditionally to the magic of Sean Pidgeon’s creation—mood, mystique, scholarship, plot and a wonderful cast of characters. I loved it so much I couldn’t find words to describe my reaction.”

—Jack Whyte, author of the “Dream of Eagles” series and The Forest Laird

Finding Camlann delivers a wallop of pleasure to both the head and the heart. It is suffused with an irresistible sense of mystery, both about the unknowable past and about the inner truth of those we love.”

—Rebecca Goldstein, author of Thirty Six Arguments for the Existence of God and The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind

“Finding Camlann is a lovely book, simultaneously an emotional and a historical journey. It finds new things to say about the legend of King Arthur, and says them in a touching and compelling contemporary tale of love.”

—Iain Pears, author of Stone’s Fall and An Instance of the Fingerpost

“Beautifully written, intelligent and ingenious, with an unusual lyricism and a wonderful feeling for the depth of time.”

—Gillian Bradshaw, author of The Hawk of May




Copyright © Sean Pidgeon 2019-2020