The Arthur Books (Information)

Once upon a time, in a land that was called Britain, these things happened . . . .” well, maybe. The Warlord Trilogy is my attempt to tell the story of Arthur, ‘Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus’, the Once and Future King, although I doubt he ever was a king. I suspect he was a great warlord of the sixth century. Nennius, who was one of the earliest historians to mention Arthur, calls him the ‘dux bellorum’ – leader of battles or warlord. I have to confess that of all the books I have written these three are my favourites. They have been translated into a score of languages and were best-sellers in a dozen countries.

This is probably the best help I can give with the pronunciations for the names in the Warlord Trilogy. I took the names from all sorts of sources, many of them ancient Welsh, but then the first audio-book was recorded and I was besieged by e-mails and faxes from the producers wanting to know how to pronounce Gorfyddyd and Culhwch, and I began to wish I’d called them Fred or Charlie. A Welsh-speaking friend dealt with the pronunciation enquiries, for which I am very grateful, and the list below is, to the best of my recollection, what was recommended. Not every name here is Welsh – some, like Aelle or Cerdic, are Saxon. I’ve only included the ones that seem to give the most difficulty and I have not attempted to cast them in any recognisable phonetic alphabet, and if any Welsh readers are mightily offended then please write and correct us!

Aelle – Ay (rhyme with bay) – ella

Ailleann – Eileen

Bleiddig – Blethig

Broceliande – Brossell-ee-ander

Caddwyg – Cathig

Cei – Kay

Ceinwyn – Kine-win

Cerdic – Serdic

Culhwch – Cull-hooch (guttural, as in Scottish loch)

Cuneglas – Cooner-Glass

Cyllan – Killen

Cythryn – Kith-rin

Cywyllog – Coo-ee-thlog

Dafydd ap Gruffud – Davv-id ap Gruffuth

Derfel – Der-vel

Diwrnach – Deer-nack

Erce – Err-chay

Gereint – Gerr-aint

Gofannon – Go – vannen

Gorfyddyd – Gor-vithid

Gwenhywach – Gwenn-high-arc (guttural)

Gwlyddyn – Gulithin

Gwynnedd – Gwinnith

Halcwum – Hal-coom

Helledd – Helleth

Hywel – Hugh-ell

Llywarch – Thly-warch

Lwellwyn – Thluellen

Lyonesse – Lee-on-ess

Manawydan – Manna-vidden

Oengus Mac Airem – Oingus Mac Air-em

Ui Liathain – Oo-ee Lith-ain